Florida Highway Patrol releases hit and run statistics for 2017

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Florida Highway Patrol released their statistics on hit and run crashes in Florida for 2017.

FHP says that there were more than 98,000 hit and run crashes in Florida and that they worked almost 24,000 of those crashes.

Bay County had more than 1,100 hit and run incidents in 2017, but only two fatalities.

Troopers say that hit and run crashes stay steady at around 25 percent of all crashes, which means that people fleeing the scene isn't getting better.

Lieutenant Eddie Elmore, the public affairs officer for Florida Highway Patrol said, "If you don't stay at the scene and there's property damage, that becomes a misdemeanor and at that point, it becomes... you could face several months in jail. If there's any injuries associated with it, that's going to increase again and you could face up to five years in prison."

Troopers want to remind drivers that under Florida law, a driver must stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in property damage, injury, or death.

FHP officials say that the most important thing a driver can do if they are involved in a crash is to remain at the scene and call for help.

Elmore continued, "If they're involved in a crash, if there's injuries, immediately call 911, get our emergency services on the way so that they can help. If you can do first aid on anyone and know first aid, by all means, do first aid and then wait for law enforcement and emergency services to get there."

They say that staying at the scene will not only spare a driver legal fees but may save a life.