AUSTIN (KXAN) - The number of people leaving the scene of minor crashes is increasing in Austin, according to police. In fact, the department created a special unit just to deal with this type of case.
Officials say there were 9,500 reports of people leaving the scene of a minor crash in 2012, which is about 800 cases each month. Less than 300 of those have a viable lead.
"It's very frustrating," said Detective Adrian Duran, who is assigned to the unit. "It's frustrating both for the victims and for the detectives, of course."
The four detectives in the unit are charged with chasing down leads for these cases.
"They're victims of a crime," Duran said. "This is a crime that has been committed against them and you're victimized just like any other crime."
Kristen McCallum was the victim of one of these crashes in November 2012, when an enraged driver intentionally rammed her car, stopped to check the damage, then drove away before he exchanged information.
"He took some pictures of my car, took some pictures of his car and then got in his car and left- just got in his car and left," said McCallum. "I think that it's terrible to leave a person in that situation. You know, not everyone sits on tons of money to be able to fix their vehicle."
In fact, McCallum still has not fixed the dent on her vehicle because she just can't afford the $750.00 estimate.
"I'm a single mom, so I don't have $750 to put out," she said.
Duran said the law requires a person to leave contact information on the windshield if the owner of the car isn't around.
Leaving the scene of a crash where the damage is more than $200.00, and failing to leave a note is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to $2,000.00 in fines.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.
The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
Bryce Petty threw touchdown passes on the first two drives of the second half for No. 9 Baylor and the Bears won their first Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth with a 30-10 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday.