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Hit and run bill

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    The Texas House unanimously approved a bill that increased penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident involving an injury.
    A similar version passed the Senate Friday.
    The bill's passage comes after former legislative aide, Gabrielle Nestande, fatally ran into Courtney Griffin and didn't stop to help.
    Griffin was walking in the bike lane of Exposition Drive in Tarrytown when Nestande hit her in 2011.
    Nestande is serving an 180 day jail term after being convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
    Right now, failure to stop and render aid is a third degree felony and intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony.
    Supporters, like Courtney Griffin's father, Bart, says if the bill becomes law, it would close a loophole that allows intoxicated drivers to flee the scene of a deadly accident and sober up rather than if they stopped to help.
    The new law would make failure to stop and render aid in an injury accident a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
    "This is a success of a couple of years of not much happy to talk about, so we're very pleased with this.  This isn't going to help us as a family in and of itself but it'll help other families down the road, "  says Griffin.
     One of the bill's sponsors in the House, Representative Elliott Naishtat, says he hopes the bill will change driver behavior.
    "It will result in more people staying at the scene to render aid of someone who has been injured or dying and take away the incentive for them to fail to stop and render aid, " says Naishtat.     
    The bill now goes before Governor Perry. 

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