Hit & run accidents on the rise in Florida

TAMPA - "I try to avoid I-75, but when I do get on there, I do think about her and it was just weighing on me," said Ratonia Thompson.

Fifteen years after her sister, Carnegia Holmes, was killed in a hit and run accident, Thompson wants to make sure authorities don't stop trying to find who ran her off the highway and kept on going.

It happened in in the early morning hours of April 2, 1998 , just South of the Fletcher Street exit on I-275.

Investigators believe an 18-wheeler clipped the back of Holmes' 1979 Oldsmobile, sending the car into an oak tree.

The mother of four was found dead several hours later.

Her son, Anton Green Jr., was just seven at the time. "It didn't really sink in until the wake and the funeral, when I seen everyone else crying, my brother and sister, then it was like, 'Oh, my god.' It was real."

The Florida Highway Patrol says the number of fatal hit and run accidents are on the rise. Overall authorities say there w ere almost 70,000 hit and runs in 2012 alone. That's up 4,000 more from 2011.

168 people died in those crashes.

They are trying to get the word out all around the state that drivers who leave the scene of an accident can face serious consequences if they don't do the right thing.
"It's their responsibility to stop, render aid for people that are injured, people that are killed in crashes," said FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

Anton says losing his mom tore his family apart. And he hopes, even all these years later, someone will come forward. "I still have dreams about her, but then you wake up and she's not there, so it's a comeback to reality."

Holmes was supposed to get married a month after the day she was killed.

If you are involved in an accident, FHP says make sure to exchange information and take pictures of the scene, just in case the other driver involved leaves the scene before authorities arrive.

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