Number of Hit and Run Accidents in Rockford Drop

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Wednesday night’s fatal hit and run is the third in Rockford since July and when you add in all the other non-fatal hit and runs, it seems like we've had a lot.

Employees at the Circuit Clerks Office spent the day working with heavy hearts, grieving the loss of their friend and co-worker Todd Jackson.

"Todd was all around a great guy. He was dependable, always here on time. Always loved by every employee that worked here in this office," Chief Deputy Clerk Tom Lawson, said.

The 51-year-old was killed Wednesday night in a hit and run accident on the city's southeast side. Police say he was crossing Charles Street near 28th Street on his way to visit his girlfriend when police say Justin Martin, 32, ran him over and left Jackson to die.

"If whoever was in this car knew Todd, they would have stopped immediately, just knowing the kind of person Todd is,” Lawson said.

Jackson is the third person killed in a hit and run accident this year, up one from last year, but overall Rockford Police say more people are stopping after a crash. Year to date we've had 784 hit and run accidents, down 10 percent from this time last year.

Officers say they haven't done anything differently to decrease the numbers, but say our driving habits could be the reason for the change.

"There were some recent publications that said Rockford drivers were some of the safest drivers. I don't know if that has any influence on these numbers," Rockford Police Lt. Pat Hoey, said.

When there are hit and runs, Rockford Police have an officer who only works on those cases. Jackson's friends are happy police quickly caught his alleged killer.

“If Todd was the one driving that car I know for a fact Todd would have stopped immediately because that's the kind of person he was and that's what Todd and his family deserve," Lawson said.

The number of hit and runs has been dropping for a few years. They're down 20 percent over the last two years.

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