Ohio House OKs tougher sentences for hit-skip
...With backing from a variety of interests, including county prosecutors, House Bill 397 would make a hit-skip involving a death or serious injury a second-degree felony. The penalty would be a maximum eight years in prison.
Under current law, fleeing a fatal crash is a third-degree felony with a maximum three years in prison; a hit-skip causing serious injury is a fifth-degree felony, with a maximum 12-month sentence...
...Ohio averages 473 hit-skip crashes a year involving people killed or seriously injured, according to State Highway Patrol data.
The issue was highlighted locally in September when Bob Lennon, 64, a St. Francis DeSales High School teacher and coach, was killed while bicycling on a rural Delaware County road outside Westerville. The driver, Mary “Katy” Paul, 36, was convicted and sentenced to 18 months for involuntary manslaughter plus the maximum three years for fleeing.
Patricia Kovacs of the Ohio Bicycle Federation called hit-skip an “intolerable problem” and said the bill would “send a clear message that the state of Ohio is going to punish drivers severely if they fail to stop.”
Kovacs said that of the bicycle crashes that result in injury or death, 28 percent are hit-skips...
Read the entire article at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/04/03/house-oks-tougher-sentences-for-hit-skip.html
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