AUSTIN (KXAN) — With five months until the end of the year, Austin Police investigators are already seeing deadly hit-and run cases surpass last year’s totals.
In one of those cases, police are still trying to find out who is responsible for the crash that killed 29-year-old Derek Pagan along US Highway 183 on an early Sunday morning in April.
“Our family’s suffering,” said Linda Pagan, Derek’s mother. “There’s not a day that goes by that my daughter and I don’t cry for my son.”
Linda says Derek had just re-enlisted in the Army and had been based at Fort Hood for four years. Pagan entered the military in April 2011 as a radio and communications security repairer. He was assigned to 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood since October 2013.
An Austin Police spokesperson says APD records show six cases for failure to stop and render aid, or hit-and-run crashes, this year. There were five such cases all of last year. TxDOT records show eight people have died in hit-and-run crashes investigated by the Austin Police Department this year, compared to three deaths last year. The agencies were not immediately available late Thursday to clarify the discrepancy.
“I don’t understand how people hit people and just keep on going. I don’t understand that. People need to change,” said Pagan. “Hit and run. It’s not anything that I want to see any other family go through.”
Other families are also suffering. The family of 9-year-old, Yahir Vidal, offered a $3,000 last year to anyone that has information that could lead to the arrest of the driver who killed the boy in a hit-and-run crash in December of 2013. A family member confirmed Thursday the driver who hit Yahir in that case has not been identified.
TxDOT crash records show hit-and-run crashes have killed 28 people in Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties since 2013.