Lawmakers, parents of victims seek changes to Oregon's hit-and-r - KPTV - FOX 12

Lawmakers, parents of victims seek changes to Oregon's hit-and-run law

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Anna and Abigail (Robinson family photo) Anna and Abigail (Robinson family photo)

Lawmakers gathered together at the State Capitol on Tuesday to discuss a bipartisan bill that would close a loophole in Oregon's hit-and-run law.

Bill 4055 would clarify part of Oregon hit-and-run law, and if passed, the new law would be named, Anna and Abigail's Law, after two young sisters killed in a crash back in 2013.

Nearly four and a half years have passed since Tom and Susan Robinson's daughters, 6-year-old Anna and 11-year-old Abigail, were killed by a hit-and-run 18-year-old driver. 

On Tuesday, Susan Robinson spoke on behalf of House Bill 4055, which would close a loophole that allowed the conviction of their daughter's killer to be reversed.

"The loophole that we're talking about here is the idea that you have no responsibility if you happen to be half a block away at the time you learned that you've seriously injured or killed somebody," said Bracken McKey, Senior Deputy District Attorney with the Washington County DA's Office.

In the hit-and-run case involving the Robinson family, the driver, Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, drove her SUV into a pile of leaves the girls were playing in. Garcia-Cisneros was driving with her brother and boyfriend at the time.

"She did not see my girls in the leaves prior to driving through them but did not stop after she knew she had hit something," said Susan Robinson.

After they drove off, one of the passengers returned to the scene.

"He rode his bike back home, not even a half a block from the scene and told the driver and the other passenger what had happened. They hit two small children," said Susan Robinson.

Though the passenger told Garcia-Cisneros what happened, officials say she never tried to contact the Robinson family or law enforcement.

A jury found Garcia-Cisneros guilty of two counts of felony hit-and-run, and a judge sentenced her to three years probation and 250 hours of community service, but the Oregon Court of Appeals later overturned that conviction.

Under current law, the State of Oregon does not require a hit-and-run driver to return to the scene of an accident after they've found out someone was hurt.

The Robinson's hope bill 4055 will ensure this doesn't happen again.

"The whole incident was a really unfortunate accident but what we've tried to tell people is that when you have an accident, you check in," said Tom Robinson.

While the bill won't bring their girls back, it should help families of hit-and-run victims get justice.

"Tonight we're going to go home and we're not going to tuck them into bed. So in the big picture, you know, life just kind of moves on for us," said Susan Robinson.

The committee did not vote on House Bill 4055 on Tuesday. They should make their decision during this short legislative session.

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