PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “Anna and Abigail’s Law,” a bill aimed at closing a loophole in the state’s hit-and-run law, passed in the House 59-0 on Feb. 14, moving it to the Senate where a public hearing will happen on Thursday.
The bill, officially known as House Bill 4055, was introduced by Rep. Jeff Barker and Rep. Andy Olson in an effort to close the loophole that lifted the conviction of the young driver who drove through a pile of leaves in 2013, killing 11-year-old Abigail Robinson and 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckert, who were playing in the leaves in front of their Forest Grove home. Cinthya Cisneros-Garcia drove through the leaves. She felt a bump but continued to drive home, not far from where the girls lived.
A short time later, her brother told her someone had been hit, but Cisneros-Garcia did not return to the scene or call police.
Earlier this month, Susan Dieter-Robinson, a parent of the 2 girls, testified at the Oregon State Capitol in favor of the bill.
“I have no doubt if the driver came back that night I would have hugged her and we would have moved forward together, if she would have come back,” Dieter-Robinson told the legislators. “Unfortunately, as the law now stands there’s no obligation to identify herself as person involved in the accident.”
In 2014, Cisneros-Garcia was sentenced to probation and community service for failing to perform the duties of a driver.
In tossing out her conviction, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled the current law “does not require a defendant to return to the scene of the accident after he or she has left the scene and later learns that he or she was involved in an accident that injured or killed another person.”
In a statement, Olson said this bill addresses a “gaping loophole in our state’s hit and run statutes so that the next time a situation like this arises, we can be more certain that justice be achieved for the victims and their families.”