Unsolved case motivates push for change

When the doors opened on the final senate session in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly earlier this month, bill 241 was left behind.

"That's Annapolis. Sometimes things fly through, sometimes they hit a wall you don't expect and that's what happened this year," said Senator Bryan Simonaire.

Anne Arundel County Republican Senator Bryan Simonaire's bill aimed at curbing hit-and-runs stopped short in Annapolis.

The bill would have increased prison time for leaving the scene of a crash involving injury or death from 10 to 15 years, but it never got out of committee.

RELATED: Experts discuss: What kind of person commits a hit-and-run?

It was not expected the senator said, but not altogether unprecedented either.

"Many times down here the bill will not pass the first time, so you try to find out what the opposition is. Then, you come back a second and third year and it eventually will pass, and that's what my goal is.  I am gonna come down here. Hit-and-run cases aren't going away, and I'm not going to go away either," Simonaire said.

Neither will the inspiration for which his bill is dedicated.

He and many others drive by the sign off Route 100 almost daily, reminding drivers the hit-and-run case of Skylar Marion is still very much unsolved.

Despite efforts by police and even a growing pot of reward money for any tip, the person who hit the Pasadena teen last year along Mountain Road and left him for dead is still out there.

"Every day it gets harder and harder and harder.  A lot of people think it gets easier, but when you have the person out there that turned around and took my son's life and they're still out there, that I think, he is or they are... You can't let it end."

It is a wound torn open every time Michael Marion drives by the scene.

He and his boys can't avoid it as Mountain Road is the only way in and out of their part of Pasadena. They can't avoid the memorial that still stands in 15-year-old Skylar Marion's memory. They can't avoid the idea that whoever didn't stop is still out there.

"The challenge is there is somebody out there that knows what happened, we need them to do the right thing and to come forward," Marion said. "I mean one day he has got to meet his maker and then they'll be judged, but in our life time...I don't know.  You got all these other hit and runs, I'm not by myself.

Not even close.

This past February, we showed you how according to the Maryland State Police and the highway safety office, Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties along with Baltimore City, show an overall increase from 2010 through 2012 of hit-and-runs involving personal injury or death.

RELATED: 700 pedestrians hit each year in Baltimore

Marion is counted in the 2013 stats, which have yet to be finalized by the state. But, the numbers are still lives that are moving in an alarming direction.

It has been a year for the Marion family, still no arrest, still no closure.

They organized a candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Skylar's hit-and-run as a way to keep the memory of him alive while reminding people the case still needs closing.

It was a message punctuated by pain they hope is loud enough to reach Annapolis next winter.

"In Anne Arundel County it's been devastating, and if you talk to the people as you have, you find out it has devastated their life. They want some serious penalties associated with this," Simonaire said.

But, the senator's bill wasn't a complete failure this year.

It also called for an education component and while the bill never passed, the Motor Vehicle Administration said it would go ahead with that part either way.

So now in driver's education classes all over the state, teens are being taught to stay at the scene of an accident....period.

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