HOUSTON, TX-- Most people know the 'H' in H-town stands for Houston, but if you looked at recent police reports, you might think it stands for 'hit-and-run.'
Three people have been killed in hit-and-run accidents in the last three days. A female pedestrian was struck pushing her shopping cart across Bellaire at Ranchester. She died at the hospital.
Saturday night, 11-year-old Tania Rodriguez was killed at the intersection of Westpark and 59 when her family's truck was sideswiped and sent crashing into a cement pillar. The car that hit them is believed to have been a red Chevy Cobalt. That's all police have to go on. "We're hoping that public will help us out with any information they have regarding this particular crash," says Sgt. Samuel Acevedo, with HPD Vehicular Crimes.
Monday morning, at that same spot at Westpark and 59, an Hispanic man on his bicycle was run over and killed, left on the side of the road like trash. With no witnesses, police are at a loss.
So who would do this? "People leave the scene of a crash because they have no driver's license or insurance," explains Acevedo. He said that's a big mistake, "It's a second degree felony if you kill someone in a crash and flee the scene." If you stick around-- even though you don't have a license or insurance-- the worst you'll probably get is a Class C violation if it's truly an accident.
HPD says cyclists and walkers often take for granted that drivers will do the right thing, but they shouldn't. "Look at the driver of the vehicle that's approaching," Sgt. Acevedo says, "Make sure they come to a complete stop before you put yourself out there in danger's way."
The Rodriguez family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for little Tania's funeral, her sister says, so she can rest in peace. But as long as hit-and-run drivers continue to run our streets, it'll be tough for any of us to rest easy.