In wake of deadly hit-and-runs, Columbus police urge drivers to keep eyes on the road

Columbus, GA (WTVM) -  Several hit-and-run incidents happened in Columbus over the last two weeks, some turning deadly. 

One woman, Kassandra Hollinhead, was hit by a car and killed on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, while a child was reportedly hit near Double Churches Road. 

Most recently, a man was found dead in Phenix City, after investigators determined he was not shot - instead, he'd been hit by a car. Investigators are
trying to trace the car and driver suspected to have hit Richard Gaines near Brickyard Road, right under the Highway 280 overpass. 

Now, police in the Fountain City have warnings and advice for drivers, to avoid tragedies and keep them out of jail.

In the MLK Boulevard incident, the second driver involved, Jovonne Williams, did not stop when she hit Kassandra Hollinhead, according to Columbus police. 

She was then arrested for fleeing the scene of the crime, and that, according to Columbus police Sgt. Chris Anderson, is the opposite of what someone should do. 

"The best thing that driver can do is stop immediately," Anderson said. "Even if that person jumps off the ground, and says, 'I'm fine,' no. You stay right there, you contact the police, and you say, 'Look, this is what happened'... You've done your part, you've fulfilled your obligation."

The times' people do take off after hitting someone with their car, Anderson said, it means the driver may not have auto insurance, does have an outstanding warrant, or even possibly was involved in another crime.  To avoid those incidents, however, require being extremely cautious, Anderson said, on the road.

"Pay attention to your driving. Look in front of you, ok? Look around you," he said. Anderson also said a driver should look at the rear and side mirrors as much as possible. "You would be surprised how many times you look in your mirror going a very short distance."

Columbus police also want to remind pedestrians and cyclists about what they need to do, regardless of whether they're at fault.  

If you're walking, Anderson said, stay on the sidewalk or walk so that you're facing the opposite flow of traffic, and anyone on their bikes needs to obey the rules of the road just like a car.

Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved.