Hit-and-runs becoming epidemic

Six people have died in hit-and-run crashes in Jacksonville this year, according to News4Jax records.

Most have been in the Oceanway area, but out of those, only one person has been arrested. The remaining are unsolved.

In 2015 there were six hit-and-run crashes with two arrests. In 2014 that number nearly doubled to 11 victims with five arrests.

News4Jax spoke with the children of a man hit and killed on the Acosta Bridge last year while changing his tire. They say they still haven't given up on finding the person who did it.

Even after eight months, Husein Brkic’s daughter and son say their father is still with them. It's the little things that Tina Brikic and her brother Robert won't let go of.

They still pay the bill for his cellphone just to hear his voicemail message. Tina Brkic used to leave messages.

"I did and then I kind of stopped because it hurts a lot. Like when I hear his voice, it makes me want to break down and cry,” she said.

Tina and Robert Brkic believe only one person knows who hit and killed Husein Brkic last year -- the person who did it and then left.

"It just hurts,” Robert Brkic said. “He survived the war, he came here with nothing. We had nothing. We bought a house. We bought everything. I started driving. Everything was going good. Until that one night.”

His children said that night changed everything.

"I try to be strong. Every day I try and try but it hurts more and more,” Tina Brkic said. "I'm just speechless, with everything. Everything that happened, it's just so shocking. From this day on, I still wake up thinking he's in his room sleeping, or that he's about to come walk through this door. And to think that person is still out there, it scares me a lot."

Attorney Gene Nichols weighed in on why hit-and-run crashes are such a problem. He says if a driver is convicted of leaving the scene of a hit-and-run crash in which someone dies, they face a minimum of four years behind bars. It's the same mandatory sentence a person convicted of DUI manslaughter faces if convicted after the legislator stiffened the penalties two years ago.