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New Law Raises Minimum Sentences For Hit-And-Run Drivers

Drivers who flee the scene of a vehicular homicide now face a stiffer sentence after Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation last Monday that raised the sentence to a minimum of three years in jail.

“Kevin’s Law” is to honor a 5-year-old boy, from Wilkes-Barre, who was killed 18 months ago by a driver who drove away after the accident. Authorities finally caught the man who killed the boy, but he was sentenced to less than a year because of a loophole. Kevin Miller’s parents advocated for change.

“Obviously this doesn’t bring him back, but it can help other families not go through what we have gone through," said Kevin’s mother, Caroline Miller. "It means the world to me, and it means my son’s death wasn’t in vain.”

The bill made it through the state Senate very quickly.

“And to see the family coming together working with the Legislature, getting this bill passed, and as you know we got it passed in the Senate and to my desk in one day, in the same day is very unusual," Corbett said. "It was a pleasure to be able to sign it. I just wish that it wasn’t necessary.”

The minimum three years matches the same sentence for those who commit vehicular homicide while intoxicated. Before the law was passed drivers who fled the scene after committing vehicular homicide were sentenced to a minimum of one year.

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.