Leaving the scene and failure to stop and render aid are two crimes that are a big problem for Austin Police because the cases are hard to solve.
Brad Harmon is a prime example of what those crimes do to the victims. Looking around Brad Harmon's office, its hard to miss his love for bikes. He has five of them, and the frame for a sixth. The amateur racer and new father of a seven month old son, however,
nearly lost his life to that love.
"I literally thought, this is it, I'm done," Hamilton said.
Every morning, five days a week, the 39-year-old goes for a 20 mile bike ride before work. The intersection of Parmer and 620 is part of his route. On April 21st, 6:45 in the morning, as he had the green light, a car ran the red, and hit Harmon.
"I was struck by a car from behind, thrown into traffic, which brought three lanes of Parmer to a complete stop."
That crash left Harmon with broken bones in his left arm and leg, not to mention a huge purple bruise on his hip. However, his injuries weren't on his mind.
"The thought process as I turn around and see this Honda Civic speeding away, was somebody please go get them because I can't believe they're leaving me like this."
The good news was that police and EMS arrived quickly. Unfortunately, the car that hit Harmon didn't stop and no one knows who was driving. Without that, there is only so much police can do.
So the Harmons did their own investigation. They came back to the scene of the crime, watched, and waited. They say around 6:45 those days, they noticed a white Honda Civic going the same direction as the white honda civic that hit harmon the day of the accident.
Harmon says they followed it and made a startling discovery.
"Pulled up next to the car after they exited the car and noticed that it had damage to the right front bumper."
Harmon works for Autotrader.com, a website that helps dealers sell cars. He says he found the driver of that car, looked her up on Facebook where Harmon says she talked about hitting a deer.
That Facebook page is no longer up. He forwarded all his info to police. However, it wasn't enough, leaving Harmon beyond disappointed and disgusted.
"There's a lot of feelings, where do you want me to start? Getting hit by a car, getting thrown in the street, being left for dead? Or just that the police don't care?"
Austin Police Lt. Troy Officer is over vehicular homicide, the unit that investigates failure to stop and render aid cases, like Harmon's.
"Criminal charges have to be charged against the driver and not the vehicle so even if you're able to identify the vehicle, we still need
to be able to identify the driver of that vehicle," Officer said.
Lt. Officer says failure to stop cases and leaving the scene cases are hard to solve, especially since witnesses don't stick around. That's a big problem.
The Harmons are trying to focus on the positive now like the fact that the new father was able to see his family again, especially little Gavin. Also, once again riding.
However, the criminal case being a dead end is hard to take, especially when its so clear to the Harmon's. So the next step, is the civil route.
The still recovering hit and run victim plans to sue the driver who chose not to stop after hitting him. If you have any information about Harmon's case, please call the Vehicular Homicide Unit at APD.
Lt Officer says bicyclists, more than others on the roadway, need to ride defensively. He says there are no fender benders with bicyclists.
He says if you're in a collision, first, look for a safe way to get out of the way. Make sure you're ok before worrying about your property. If you see a crash, stop and make sure the people are ok.
Even if you can't stay, leave your name and number and that will help police.
Follow Jenni Lee on Twitter@jennileeaustin.