Ferndale Man Killed in Hit and Run as Hit and Run Accident Deaths at All-Time High
A Ferndale man was killed after a hit and run accident in Ferndale, Washington on Grandview Road at Atwood Road, east of the northbound I-5 on and off-ramps. A statement by Washington State Patrol (WSP) stated that the accident happened in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 20.
A 911 call was made just after 3 a.m. Ferndale Police and aid crews were dispatched to the scene of the accident where they found the victim – 51-year-old Daniel W. Holcomb – face down in the roadway. First responders performed CPR until aid crews arrived but the man was ultimately declared dead at the scene.
The Washington State Patrol is investigating.
Hit and run accident deaths at all-time high
We all know that we should look both ways before crossing the street but this safety measure is more important than ever as hit-and-run deaths reach an all-time high. A study by AAA found that hit-and-run deaths increased by a shocking 60 percent between 2009 and 2016, with pedestrians and bicyclists representing about 65 percent of those fatalities. There were 2,049 hit-and-run accident deaths in 2016, which is the highest annual number ever recorded. The study also found that an average of 682,000 drivers fled the scene of an accident each year between 2006 and 2016. According to AAA, “Over the past 10 years, nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths were caused by hit-and-run crashes, compared to just 1 percent of all driver fatalities in the same time period.”
New Mexico held the distinction as the number one worst state for hit-and-run fatalities with a per capita death rate of 0.85 per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire had the best per capita death rate of 0.12 hit and run deaths per 100,000 people. Washington State came in as the seventh best state.
Experts unsure why hit and run deaths have increased
AAA believes that a combination of factors has led to the spike in hit and run accident deaths, stating “The total number of hit-and-run fatalities has increased in large part because the total number of crash fatalities has increased across the board,” AAA said in a statement. “On top of that, the percentage of all crash fatalities that have been pedestrians and cyclists has been increasing in recent years as well.” The reason for this is that drivers are more likely to flee after a crash that kills a pedestrian or cyclist, as opposed to a person inside a vehicle, because a vehicle is much less likely to still be drivable after a crash bad enough to kill a vehicle occupant.
Why do people hit and run?
Each person has their own reasons for fleeing the scene of an accident but it generally comes down to self-preservation over personal responsibility. In many cases, people flee because they are driving without a license, they are illegal immigrants, there is an active search warrant for their arrest, or they are intoxicated. Their hope is that by fleeing they can avoid legal consequences or deportation but the reality is that they usually end up in even more legal trouble.
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