Erin's Law Used In Many Hit-And-Run Cases - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Erin's Law Used In Many Hit-And-Run Cases

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Debbie Keener said she remembers her daughter's laugh like it was just yesterday.

"From the time she was little she was this rambunctious little girl that climbed trees, tomboy, just loved life. Cared for all of the animals in the world. Wanted to save every little animal," said Debbie Keener, Erin's mother.

Erin Keener was a West Virginia University student getting ready to graduate with a nursing degree.

She was taken from the world at 21 years old after someone hit her with their car and didn't stop.

"Somewhere within 10 or 15 minutes, they found her outside after being dropped off where she had been hit and drug down the road by a vehicle," Keener said.

Statistics say one in five pedestrians killed in roadways are due to hit and runs.

There have been multiple hit and runs on Merchant Street in Fairmont over the past 10 years. Police said if you leave the scene of an accident, you could be facing some pretty serious consequences.

"It is serious. It's actually, in my opinion, the penalty should be even more severe then what it is," said Detective Adrian Hayhurst, Fairmont Police.

A recent hit and run in Fairmont involving a 21-year-old girl has put the topic of Erin's Law back on the table.

Anyone who kills a person in a hit-and-run incident could see jail time.

"It is one to five years. Or one up to five years but you do a year in jail. That's the biggest difference between the two. It determines if there was a death and the person left the scene," Detective Hayhurst said.

The Keener family made it a goal of theirs to get Erin's Law passed.

It may not bring her back, but it will help others get closure.

"There's such a loss there, that anything you can do to help somebody out anywhere, I think that's the best thing that anybody can do," Keener said.

Erin's case has never been solved.

Fairmont Police did have a suspect in mind, but didn't have enough evidence to prove them guilty.

"That's all I ever asked in any interview. Just come forward. I don't know how they live with themselves. Truly, I don't," Keener said.

If you witness a hit-and-run, officers encourage you to be vigilant. Try to remember everything you can about the vehicle and stay on scene with the patient until help gets there.