A 12-year-old boy was struck by a car at the intersection of 7 Mile Lane and Sunny Drive in North Harris County. The driver fled the scene, and the child, identified as Jason Palmer, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with multiple injuries including a brain hemorrhage.
The intersection, which is in a residential neighborhood, is reputed to be dangerous by area residents, with complaints of cars speeding and ignoring the stop sign. The neighborhood is in a pocket of unincorporated Harris County between the North Loop and Beltway 8 that, unlike the surrounding area, has not been annexed by the City of Houston and is administered by the East Aldine Management District and the county.
On Saturday, another hit-and-run accident claimed the life of 30-year-old Marine Corps veteran Brandon Jankowski, whose SUV was hit and flipped over on I-10 in East Houston by another SUV. The driver, identified as Mark Avalos, exited his SUV, walked over to look at Jankowski, who had been ejected from his vehicle, then got back into his SUV and drove away. He was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and with intoxication manslaughter, both second-degree felonies carrying a sentence of up to 20 years each.
While overall fatal accidents have been on the decline in recent years in the U.S., hit-and-run fatalities are on the rise. According to the NHTSA, nearly one in five pedestrian fatalities is caused by a hit-and-run driver.