December brings multiple hit-and-run incidents in Marquette County

Emily Pagel

During December 2013, were three hit-and-run incidents in Marquette County, according to the Marquette Police Department.

On Tuesday, December 17, Robin Rahoi was found on CR-KCB, approximately two miles east of Big Bay. Michigan State  Police determined her death was the result of a hit and run.

The second incident occured at  approximately 6:07 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27. Marquette Police officers responded to a hit and run at the intersection of West Washington Street and US-41, causing the vehicle to be forced into the ditch.

The third occured at approximately 12:04 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 30. Marquette Police department responded to a hit and run accident at the intersection of Presque Isle Avenue and Norwood Street. The incident occured when the suspect vehicle hit another vehicle while attempting to make a left hand turn onto Norwood from Presque Isle.

R. Blake Riebolt, Captain of Patrol Operations for the Marquette Police Department, said there is no one factor in the rise of hit and runs experienced last month.

“It’s hard to say exactly, to pin point why there’s an increase in hit and runs,” Riebolt said. “Weather conditions tend to take a role; you tend to have more accidents in the weather months, and that will also have a play in people not wanting to get in trouble.”

According to Riebolt the most important thing someone who’s involved in a hit and run should do is call the police immediately after an incident.

“The No. 1 thing when it comes to an accident is to identify the individual that’s involved,” Reibolt said. “What we recommend is getting out and exchanging some information. What happens a lot of times is people get in a small fender bender accident and  they say ‘we don’t need to call the police’ and then they leave.

“At that point there’s no recourse for the individual down the road,” he said. “Either they give a false name or number and we’re already behind the eight ball on the investigation.”

Riebolt emphasised that students shouldn’t be afraid to call when an incident occurs.

“If we respond and feel that its under the minimum requirements for an accident report then we’ll let you know then, but at least its documented.”

Reibolt said their are several warning signs for when an accident occurs.

“If the individual involves says ‘hey, lets not call for the police and I’ll pay for the damages and we’ll be fine’ usually that means that the individual involved is either without a license or doesn’t have their vehicle insured or that’s usually a flag of something suspicious going on for us,” Riebolt said.

If not directly affected in the event of a hit and run accident Reibolt said other drivers and pedestrians can still play a crutial role in reporting an inccident.

“We recommend the best information a witness can do is get a vehicle description and at all possible get a license plate number,” Reibolt said. “Those are the best tools we can use to investigate a hit and run accident.”

Anyone with information regarding hit and run accidents should contact the Marquette Police Department at (906)228-0400.