Friday, September 26, 2008

WTNH: Connecticut hit-and-runs largely unsolved

WTNH, Sept. 26, 2008: The number of fatal hit-and-run accidents fluctuates year to year. Many of this year's deadly cases remain unsolved despite offers of a reward.

Margaret Ricco talks about the pain of losing her stepson in a deadly hit-and-run more than 10 years ago. "It doesn't go away. There's no justice, there is no accountability," she said. In 1994, 24-year old Richard Ricco was hit and killed while crossing the Tomlinson Bridge in New Haven. That case remains unsolved. "He's gone and nobody's sorry about it. Nobody cared, that's what hurts," Margaret said.

A West Haven family is also feeling that hurt, because Anna D'Agostino, 74, died yesterday after being hit by a car while walking along Beach Street. Police are now circulating flyers to get help in finding the driver in that accident.

"There are a couple of vehicles that were on video footage that we are now looking at and each piece of evidence puts us one step closer to solving this case," said West Haven police officer, Angelo Moscato. There have been other unsolved hit-and-runs this year. Back in June, 11-year old Gabrielle Lee was crossing Whalley Avenue in New Haven, when she was hit and killed. In Hartford, a hit-and-run which left Angelo Torres severely injured was caught on tape. "It just really upsets me that there are families out there that are going through this -- it's awful," Margaret said.

In 2003, the state reported 11 fatal hit-and run-accidents. There were seven in 2004, ten in 2005, ten in 2006 and nine in 2007. Since 1994, the Governor's office has authorized that rewards be offered in seven hit-and-run cases, but of those, only two have been solved and paid. The reward didn't help solve Richard's and the five year statute of limitations to prosecute the driver has run out. "It just leaves you in this great limbo, never knowing there is going to be any justice done," Margaret said.

The rewards offered by the Governor's Office range from $10,000 to $50,000. Anyone with information D'Agostino's case is asked to contact the West Haven Police Department at (203)937-3900.

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