Police Warn Against Dealing with Car Accidents without an Office - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Police Warn Against Dealing with Car Accidents without an Officer

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Fender benders and other minor vehicle accidents can be a hassle for the people involved, but police say handling it yourself is not a good idea.

Kennewick police say it's common for people to try and handle an accident on their own without the police, but there can be some hazards involved with doing that.

Officers say, in last week's accident, the pedestrian reported being hit and then asked for money from the driver in exchange for not getting officers involved.

But the twist is the pedestrian only reported the accident after he'd been arrested on a warrant later that day.

Police want to warn people it's a red flag when someone says they don't want to report an accident and it's always in a person's best interest to call for assistance.

"They don't want the police to come. Why is that? Well they may not have a license. Maybe they're impaired at this point. Maybe they have warrants for their arrest. There may be a whole host of reasons why they don't want police contact but that should be a clue to you when somebody offers you cash right there on the spot, that something is not right," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Lattin said typically it's young people who don't report being hit because they get scared and brush it off.

Lattin also said that people are required to report an accident if someone is injured, if there is criminal activity or if there is damage over $700.

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