Fleeing the Scene

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Multiple people have left the scene of deadly accidents in Rockford lately, but Rockford Police say there's been no increase in the number of hit and runs.

An 8-year-old girl nearly died yesterday on Rockford's east side crossing the street in the middle of the day. Rockford Police say cases like that pique our interest, but there haven't actually been more any more accidents than usual.

Social workers say people fleeing the scene of an accident are likely to be in shock and if drugs or alcohol are involved...they are even less likely to think clearly. This means even if the driver wasn't at fault, he or she may flee the scene of an accident anyway.

When the adrenaline is rushing, people don't stop and think about consequences.

Kevin Polky, a licensed social worker, said, “They panic. And sometimes when some people panic, or when a lot of people panic, is to run away, is to try to get away from the scene as fast as possible."

The police lieutenant in charge of traffic investigations says she looked at the hit and run cases last year, because she thought there was an increase, but she says the numbers didn't show anything. In cities as big as Rockford, she says it’s bound to happen.

Unfortunately, there is not much anyone can do to prevent hit and runs. Polky says the key to thinking rationally after an accident takes practice, and not a lot of people have much practice in getting into accidents.

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