Michael Jumpp of Fort Lauderdale, Florida turned himself in on December 31 after he reportedly caused a hit-and-run crash that severely injured 15-year-old Cedric Tipton and killed 13-year-old Zahgwe Saint Dic.
Jumpp, 19, faces charges for driving a car without a valid license, failing to stop at the scene of a crash causing serious bodily injury, and failing to stop at the scene of a crash involving death. He appeared in bond court last week and was released on $15,000 bond.
According to the arrest report, the alleged crash occurred after 8 p.m. on December 29 in the 4300 block of NW 19th Street. Jumpp was reportedly driving his mother’s car without a valid driver’s license when he struck the two grade schoolers, who were riding bikes.
After the crash, Jumpp slowed down but didn’t stop to administer aid, the report said. The two teens were rushed to local hospital, where Tipton remains in critical condition and Dic later died.
“He really loved Dillard,” Broward County School Board member Dr. Rosalind Osgood told the press about the Zaghwe. “He was a die-hard Panther—a member of the football team there. Just had a very bright future. Kind of a quiet kid, but excited about school and really strong desired to just do the right thing.”
Zahgwe was a 12th grader at Dillard. He is fondly remembered by school staff.
“I would remember him as a very quiet kid who loves school, loved football,” said Osgood. “He was a part of our middle school football program and loved his school, so for him to be riding his bicycle with another student and to be hit and killed, it’s really tragic for the family.”
Jumpp reportedly drove to his mother’s house in Lauderhill where he contacted the police. Deputies responded to the call and found the vehicle, which had damage on the windshield and hood. An unidentified passenger who was reportedly in the vehicle with Jumpp at the time of the crash told investigators that Jumpp panicked and drove home to inform his mother about the crash before calling the police. Jumpp is a high school senior.
Hit-and-runs are a big problem in South Florida. Statistics from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) show that the number of hit-and-run accidents has spiked every year for the past five years. The figures went up from 72,000 in 2012 to over 99,000 in 2016. Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties have the highest incidents of hit-and-runs in the region.
FHP has launched several campaigns over the years to raise awareness and encourage drivers to stay at the scene of an accident and call the police. Florida law requires a driver to stop immediately at the scene of a crash that results in property damage, injury, or death. The driver must remain at the scene until they meet all Florida statute requirements. Leaving the scene of the crash only increases the severity of the possible penalties.