High rate of pedestrian deaths and hit and runs in SC has troopers asking for your help

The number of people hit by cars in South Carolina is 125 so far this year, up by 30% since 2010 when it was 95.

Many of those deaths are hit and run.

7 News talked with state troopers about how we can all play a part in staying safe and catching drivers who leave the scene.

Every 3 days a person on foot, is hit by a car in South Carolina.

Trooper Joe Hovis with Highway Patrol says of the 5 Upstate counties in his troop (Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens and Oconee) one carries more than half the burden.

“In 2016 in troop 3, out of the 26 pedestrian fatalities that we’ve had, 14 of them have occurred in Greenville County,” said Hovis.

Sunday a stretch of White Horse Road was the scene of a fatal hit and run that claimed the life of a 24-year-old.

And earlier this year a man was hit and killed on August Road. That driver also left the scene.

Tow Truck driver Dan Estes has been operating in Greenville for 20 years and says whether it’s a pedestrian or a two car crash, he’s noticed the hit and run problem is getting worse.

“A lot of people will tell me you know that, they’ll say that the other car kept going or backed up and drove off,” said Estes.

State Troopers have two messages:

1) Protect yourself with common sense stuff like using sidewalks, reflective clothing, flashlights.  And be a good witness by taking video and calling *HP or 911.

2) For the drivers who leave, there are more ways than ever to track you down.

“If you’re in a collision and it’s near a store or a service station they might have video security footage and with the social media that we have today and the phones. Your chances are going to be increased of being found.”

Estes believes there are 3 main reasons drivers leave.

“If they don’t have a drivers license or insurance or they’ve been drinking, you know, they don’t want to stay around, they know they’re going to jail, they’re going to take off.”

But troopers say, since leaving the scene can be a felony, you’ll only get a lot more of what you’re trying to avoid.

When you are caught, the trouble you face is only compounded since leaving the scene could mean jail time and a fine.


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