Hit-and-run crashes on the rise; victim shares his story

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- From fender-benders to deadly crashes, the law requires a person to stop and face the consequences after a collision. But this year, there have been more than 2,000 accidents across South Carolina roadways where the driver has sped off from the scene. In more than 20 percent of those crashes, someone was injured.

No one know how serious this trend can be more than someone who has experienced it for himself.

"There's not too many places where you can go to ride a bike safely at this point," said David Macho, who rides bicycles with his wife around their neighborhood.

But with no bike lanes, and not even a shoulder next to the road in some area, it makes what should be an easy ride difficult.

"I think it just puts cars and bikes too many times in the line of fire," Macho said.

One evening in August, Macho and his wife were riding their bikes on Bay Road off of Highway 707 when all of a sudden, they were hit by a car.

"It was from behind, so we didn't even see it coming," exclaimed Macho.

He says the drunk driver sped off, leaving them both in a ditch, injured and disoriented.

"So by the time I basically got my wits about me, the car was already gone."

Bad accidents like theirs isn't anything new for Macho. In fact, he deals with the most gruesome scenes every day as a North Myrtle Beach firefighter. This time, however, it was his first time hearing the sirens for him.

"I've always worried about people," said Macho, "You want to do your best job, but it's different when you're in that situation and you're the one being transported."

He hopes his near-death experience shows the need for better road safety in the county, and how a split second decision can affect someone for a lifetime.

"For both of us mentally and physically, it's been hard to get over. I don't think mentally, we'll ever definitely be over it," Macho said.

Injuries from the accident kept Macho out of from work for a month, and his wife is still recovering from her injuries. At the time of the accident there were witnesses, so people were able to give the description of the car, and that driver is now behind bars.

Law enforcement officers are constantly updating the numbers, and Jordan Hix with the Department of Public Safety says he expects to see an increase in crashes involving motorcycles, pedestrians, bicycles and mopeds. At this point in the year, the current overall numbers are close to the number of accidents in 2011. In fact, the number of accidents could surpass numbers from the past two years.

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