Number of fatal hit-and-run cases on the rise

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the number of fatal hit-and-run cases in Central Florida are high compared to last year.

In 2018, FHP investigated a total of 21 fatal hit-and-run crashes. As of July 2019, FHP is investigating 18 fatal hit-and-run crashes, so far. 

This includes a crash Saturday night that killed a pedestrian on John Young Parkway in Hunter Creek. 

According to FHP, penalties for fatal hit-and-runs have become more severe. 

The crime carries a mandatory minimum of four years in prison, up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

However, legal experts say some people choose to run anyway for a few reasons. 

Criminal defense attorney Bob Fisher says most commonly, drivers who are uninsured may leave the scene of a crash because they fear the financial burden. 

Others may try to avoid being charged with DUI. 

"It's my impression that some people, when they're involved in an accident, may have been involved after they've been served alcohol, and they perceive a potential arrest for DUI to be more serious than what ultimately may happen to them if someone is seriously injured or killed," Fisher said. "Stop and insure the safety of the occupants in the other vehicle. By doing so, you're potentially avoiding any criminal charges, whatsoever, and you may save a life."