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Possible harsher penalties for hit and run accidents

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Texas - You could soon receive a harsher penalty for fleeing the scene of an accident.

A senate committee has advanced legislation intended to close a loophole in state law that allows intoxicated drivers to escape with less punishment if they flee the scene of a fatal accident.

The proposed bill would make it a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, when drivers fail to stop and render aid in accidents involving a death.

Currently, it is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In just six of the more populated counties in the state, more than 40,000 hit and run accidents occurred in 2011 and 2012 combined, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Our area is no different; Dumas police are continuing to investigate a hit and run accident.

Officers were dispatched to the 300 block of west 9th Wednesday.

They tell us an unknown vehicle had reportedly struck a parked vehicle.

Amarillo Police tell us within the last two years they have had only one hit and run fatality, which was in 2011.

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