Hit & run crashes down across Louisiana despite recent accidents

Hit & run crashes down across Louisiana despite recent accidents

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The hit and run is an accident that in an instant can often times leave behind a lifetime of pain.

Recent examples throughout the state have generated plenty of attention but there are some numbers that suggest the crime is on the downswing.

"We've had some high profile crashes, some fatalities the last few weeks but when we look at the state wide numbers, the numbers are down," said Captain Doug Cain of the Louisiana State Police.

In 2012, State Police investigated 375 hit and run accidents in the first six months of the year. During the same stretch in 2013 the number dropped to 365.

"It's still a lot of crashes and a lot of victims but we like to see those numbers down," added Cain.

One of the challenges state and local law enforcement agencies face in trying to reduce the number of hit and runs is making sure those who consider committing the crime understand fleeing the scene of the accident is not worth the risk.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore says proving beyond a shadow of doubt that someone intended to leave the scene is hard enough for prosecutors but proving impairment, which is required in order for a mandatory prison sentence, is even harder.

"A confession or a drug test or alcohol test, it's difficult to prove a felony charge, you can be arrested for it but proving it may be more difficult," said Moore.

Both Moore and Cain urge the public to get involved, even when they believe the information they have may be insignificant.

"For someone who knew what they did was wrong and left someone there to possibly die and take off I think the judges here would by and large give a stiff sentence," said Moore.

"We want to do everything we can to help the DA bring a good case and bring justice to the victims involved," added Cain.

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