With family members of victims of fatal hit-and-run accidents in Lawrence by his side, Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law a bill that will increase penalties for leaving the scene of an accident.
“It’s a great day for our families and a great day for Kansas,” said Ryan Crum, whose father, Thomas Crum, was killed in a 2008 hit-and-run accident.
Also at the signing ceremony was the family of Ryan Kanost, who was killed in 2006 while a student at Kansas University. The bill had also been supported by the family of Rachel Leek, who was hit and killed in 2009 while riding her bicycle.
Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, and House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence championed the legislation, along with Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Holland said.
Davis said today when a person who leaves the scene of a fatal or serious injury accident can easily avoid serving time in jail. Under the new law, which will take effect July 1, jail time would be more likely, he said.