Unsolved hit-and-runs leave families without closure

A St. Pete case is just another example of the problem plaguing the state.

Gwendolyn Reddick still can’t believe her brother, Shizer Thornton, is no longer here.

“It’s unimaginable,” said Reddick.

On May 30, the 57-year-old Thornton was hit and killed by a car while crossing Martin Luther King Street in St. Pete. Police are still looking for the driver responsible.

“I couldn’t believe it," Reddick said. "If it was just an accident; they should have stopped. They left him out in the middle of the road like a stray dog and that’s just really hard."

Thornton is one of the 135 victims killed in hit-and-runs in Florida so far this year.

“Frequently people leave that are not at fault, and they leave a situation where they are not responsible but have created a felony by leaving,” said Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Nearly half of those victims' families will never have closure as 50 percent of the cases will remain unsolved.

Law enforcement agencies say if you know anything about any unsolved hit-and-run case you can give your tip anonymously through Crimestoppers and even receive a cash reward.

For Thornton’s family, they know nothing will bring their loved one back but at least they can be rewarded with closure.

“It could’ve been an accident. After all these months, turn yourself in,” said Reddick.

In Florida alone, there were more than 67,000 hit-and-runs in 2014. A year later, more than 74,000.

And so far this year, just in ten months, almost 79,000.

(© 2016 WTSP)


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment