Lawmakers Seek To Toughen Penalties In Hit-And-Run Deaths

Feb 21, 2019

Ten years after a hit-and-run driver killed a Cobb County man police investigators still have no idea who struck him, but Thursday at the state Capitol his family received some comfort in knowing they have helped future victims.

The Senate passed SB 1 known as "C.J.'s Law" after Charlie "CJ" Jones, 23, who while walking in North Cobb on Piedmont Road and Rio Drive was struck by a car in which the driver kept going.  Jones remained in the street, and someone else struck him again.

"This bill does one thing," said Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta). "It provides the option of enhanced penalties for a hit and run driver who causes a crash that he or she knows causes serious bodily injury, then flees the scene of an accident without stopping or rendering any aid."

The bill strengthens the penalty for hit and runs by increasing the sentence guidelines from a five-year maximum to a 10-year maximum.

Investigators still have few leads about the initial driver in CJ's death, but the other law would benefit other victims of hit and run drivers.

"This new legislation won't benefit our family, but our tenacity led us to finding out loopholes and inconsistencies in the hit and run legislation, which in my understanding, has not been since 1999."