The new year began much as the old year ended: with violence and tragedy on the streets of North Carolina. A 19-year-old man who was the father of a 6-month-old baby boy was struck by several vehicles and killed early New Year’s Day in a hit-and-run crash, police said.
The fatal pedestrian accident took place about three hours southwest of Raleigh in Charlotte’s University City. “My family is just kind of devastated right now,” said the young man’s father. “I can’t even put into words right now.”
Law enforcement officials said the 22-year-old hit-and-run driver had been identified and that criminal charges are pending. He allegedly drove away from the scene on New Year’s Day but turned himself in to police that afternoon.
Authorities said the suspect was driving a black 2018 Nissan Altima when he hit the victim and then fled the scene. Witnesses said several other drivers hit the victim’s body, which was dragged into a gas station parking lot by one of the vehicles.
Two drivers stayed at the scene of the tragedy, waiting for police to arrive.
A police detective told a TV station reporter that the man had been standing on the shoulder of a street when he was struck by the black Nissan. He was thrown about 50 feet by the collision, then struck by another vehicle and thrown about 60 feet more. He was then run over by yet another vehicle, police said, and dragged about 1,000 feet into the parking lot.
The drivers of the two vehicles that struck the man after the initial collision were not drinking or speeding, official said.
While we do not yet know how courts will handle the criminal charges against the alleged hit-and-run driver, but we do know that families in similar situations will often pursue another measure of justice with a lawsuit that can punish the perpetrator financially.