RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A North Carolina family is trying to make it easier for police to catch hit and run drivers.
Sgt. Kyle Ferrell was killed in a hit and run accident in late September in in Frederick County, Maryland. Ferrell, who is a Marine from Carthage, was on his way home from Camp David when he stopped to help a stranded motorist in the rain.
“That’s just the type of person he was,” said June Frye, Ferrell’s aunt. “He always wanted to help people.”
Maryland investigators say Ferrell was standing outside of his truck on the highway shoulder when an unknown vehicle struck him, causing fatal injuries. The vehicle also struck Ferrell’s truck, causing significant damage. The driver of the car that hit Ferrell kept on going and has not yet been caught.
“I don’t understand how you can just drive off, knowing that you’ve hit somebody,” said Frye.
Since the crash, the family has been working to implement an alert system that could have helped catch the driver. Some states call it the “Yellow Alert” system, it allows police to issue a public alert if a person has been killed or seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident.
In the same way an Amber Alert is issued, some states are able to put descriptions of hit and run suspects on highway signs or even send alerts to your cell phone minutes after the hit-and-run took place.
Colorado, California and Maryland have implemented similar alert systems. In Colorado, it’s called the Medina Alert. The system’s developer, Larry Stevenson, says it’s led to an increase in catching hit-and-run drivers.
“When police are able to get information out to taxi drivers, transportation providers and the American people; the American people will step up and they will stand up and they will help our communities become a safer place to work, live and play,” said Stevenson.
While Sgt. Ferrell’s family doesn’t know if they’ll ever get answers, they’re hoping it would be able to give closure to other families.
“I think it’s something Kyle would be on board with because it would be helping a lot of people,” said Frye. “And that’s what he stood for.”
Several North Carolina legislators say a law like this has never been discussed in North Carolina, but they will take a look at it during the next legislative session.
A GoFundMe has been set up in honor of Ferrell. All proceeds will go to the Carthage Fire Department where he was a volunteer firefighter.