FHP raising awareness about hit and run accidents

FHP raising awareness about hit and run accidents

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

For the families of victims involved in deadly hit and run crashes, a new campaign by the Florida Highway Patrol is a chance to put faces and names to the those killed on our highways each year.

FHP wants to put a stop to the rising numbers.   In 2012, officials investigated approximately 70,000 hit and runs across the Sunshine State -- 5,400 of those were in central Florida alone. 

Among statewide hit and runs, 17,000 people were injured and 168 killed.  Michael Winkler, a father and recent grandfather, was one of those fatalities.

"This is his first granddaughter, and he is never going to get to spend time with her," said Michael's daughter, Treena.

Winkler was in a wheelchair.  He was crossing the street after leaving church, when he was run over and killed just days before his wedding anniversary.

"We have been married -- we would have been married 50 years -- and this is the first Christmas I have spent without him in like 54 years," said Winkler's wife during a recent FHP news conference.

One by one, the families of victims shared their stories.  Many cases go unsolved every year,  but FHP is hoping this campaign will help find those responsible and offer closure to the families that need it most.

Anyone with information about hit-and-run crashes can report it anonymously to Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477.  Leaving the scene of a crash involving serious injury or death is a first degree felony.

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