AAA sees ‘troubling’ trend in hit-and-run accidents

Three local pedestrians have been killed by hit-and-run drivers this month, bringing to at least 17 the number of hit-and-run accidents involving people walking or riding bicycles in the region this year, according to statistics compiled by the American Automobile Association.

The most recent accident occurred early Sunday, police said, when a pedestrian was struck by a red Honda that fled the scene at the intersection of University Boulevard and Baltimore Avenue in College Park. Another pedestrian died after a hit-and-run early Friday on Arlington Boulevard in Arlington, police said. U.S. Park Police said a District woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver Sept. 9 as she walked westbound on Southland Parkway near Naylor Road. A second accident occurred the same day when a Montgomery County man was struck as he stepped off the curb at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Windham Lane in Wheaton.

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The AAA said that in 13 of the 17 hit-and-run accidents, the victim died. About 11 percent of crashes nationwide involve a hit-and-run driver, according to data compiled by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported an increase of 20 percent between 2000 and 2005 in the number of fatal hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians.

In the Washington region, the Street Smart campaign says pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for about a quarter of all traffic fatalities between 2006 and 2010.

“The trend is troubling because it involves drivers who often willingly or knowingly flee the scene without rendering aid to the victim, making it a crime scene,” said John B. Townsend II of AAA. “That’s cold-blooded, inhumane and unconscionable.”

In addition to the three hit-and-run incidents this month, the 2011 list of accidents includes:

A man was found lying in the front yard of a house in Crownsville just before 5 a.m. Sept. 2. He was suffering from severe leg injuries, Anne Arundel County police said.

A driver fled after severely injuring a 47-year-old Port Tobacco bicyclist Sept. 2, authorities said. The Charles County Sheriff’s Department said the incident occurred on Chapel Point Road near Taurus Lane in Port Tobacco between Thursday at 10 p.m. and Friday at 3 a.m.

Emergency responders found a tow truck driver lying on the shoulder of eastbound Route 100 in Glen Burnie at 8:04 a.m. on Aug. 24. He had stopped to assist a stranded motorist and reportedly was struck by a driver who initially stopped and then fled the scene. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Bulgarian college student who was working as a lifeguard in Maryland this summer was struck by a hit-and-run driver Aug. 23 on Forest Drive in Anne Arundel County. The 20-year-old victim was riding a bicycle when the driver knocked him off his bicycle. He was hospitalized with a broken clavicle.

An Alexandria man was fatally struck the morning of July 21 as he crossed Richmond Highway in Fairfax County.

A bicyclist was killed in a fatal hit-and-run crash July 14 while crossing Ritchie Highway en route to work at a car wash in Anne Arundel County.

A teenage cyclist was severely injured by a hit-and-run driver in Southeast Washington on July 10.

A 31-year-old motorcyclist from Bowie was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of Riverdale Road and 63rd Place at about 5 a.m. on June 11.

Two pedestrians were struck by a driver on Veirs Mill Road near Centerhill Street in Montgomery County on May 23 at 9:42 p.m. The driver of the vehicle initially stopped, then fled the scene, authorities said. One victim died and the other was critically injured.

A man was fatally injured in a hit-and-run crash on Addison Road south and Central Avenue in Seat Pleasant at 4:40 a.m. on May 14, Prince George’s County Police said.

A 23-year-old Herndon man was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Interstate 66 at 3 a.m. April 3, Virginia State Police said.

A hit-and-run driver killed a 57-year-old La Plata man March 25. Police said they found the man lying on the shoulder of the road on Route 6 at Perry Road.

A 55-year-old man in a motorized wheelchair was killed by a vehicle March 12 at 3:50 a.m. in the 5000 block of Benning Road SE, police said.

On Jan. 21, a pedestrian was killed by a hit-and-run driver on King Street and Park Center Drive in Alexandria, police said.

A hit-and-run driver killed a man who was walking across Bay Ridge Road near Edgewood Road on Jan. 1 , Anne Arundel police said.

 
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