An Enid man has been arrested in connection with an early morning hit-and-run accident that killed a 15-year-old girl as she walked with a friend.
Shortly after midnight, Enid police received a phone call involving a hit-and-run accident in which a white SUV struck a bicyclist. The bicycle rider sustained only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene. However only a few minutes later, police received another call about a hit-and-run accident involving a white SUV that struck a pedestrian.
Witnesses at the scene of the second accident say the SUV struck the teenage girl who was walking with a friend. The driver did not stop at the scene of the accident, but stopped about a block away to close the hood of the vehicle before driving away. The teen died of her injuries. Five minutes later, Enid police got another phone call--this one to report a vehicle fire. Police arrived at the scene--approximately two miles from the fatal hit-and-run--to find a white SUV on fire. They found damage to the vehicle consistent with a hit-and-run accident and say they found DNA linking the vehicle to the fatal pedestrian accident.
Police traced the vehicle to Allyn Collins, 34. According to reports, Enid police arrived at Collins's home to find him "undressed in bed, as if he had been sleeping." However, police say they found additional DNA in Collins's bed that connected him to the accident.
The man was arrested on complaints of leaving the scene of an injury accident and leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily harm or death.
Oklahoma law requires that drivers involved in an accident remain at the scene of the accident, and if injury is present, render aid if possible. According to 47 O.S. § 10-102, "Any person willfully, maliciously, or feloniously failing to stop to avoid detection or prosecution or to comply with said requirements [in an injury accident], shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than ten (10) days nor more than two (2) years, or by a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment."
Section 10-102.1 prescribes even greater penalties for leaving the scene of a fatality accident:
A. The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of Section 10-104 of this title. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
B. Any person willfully, maliciously, or feloniously failing to stop to avoid detection or prosecution, or to comply with said requirements under such circumstances, shall upon conviction be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years, or by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
C. The Commissioner of Public Safety shall revoke the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of the person so convicted.
Being involved in an injury accident or fatal accident can be frightening, particularly if a driver has reason to believe that he or she will be charged with a crime--such as DUI or manslaughter--as a result of the accident. However, leaving the scene of the accident rarely allows the fleeing driver to escape undetected and only leads to further charges.