Valentine's hit-and-run death

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - We have learned new and exclusive information about a deadly hit-and-run on Valentines weekend that defies explanation.

Carrington Devol Ware was known as Jake. He was 50-years old and had cerebral palsy-- but according to his family, you'd never have known it.

"It had no effects at all. I don't even know if he saw his own limitations," said his sister Dawn Hines.

Jake had a girlfriend-- Elaine Elston-- who lived on Pebblebrook in West Charlotte. On a cold night the day after Valentine's, Jake brought her flowers and talked engagement. Before 11:00PM, he had a bus to catch and said good night.

"I always watched him walk all the way up to cross the street, but right before, a cold wind brushed over me into the door. It was just out of the ordinary," continued Elston, "and okay, he's up the street and I shut the door."

Within ten minutes, a passerby spotted Jake's body laying in Alleghany street.

"Doom just came over me, I got my wheelchair and went up there and he was laying there, he was already covered up but I saw his hand in the road."

Jake was dead-- probably from hitting the pavement after the car hit him, according to Detective Steve Williams.

"What we're thinking happened, is the car came up Pebblebook, and made the left so it was a low speed, they didn't see him and just clipped him."

Do they think driver realized they hit someone? "Yes," said the detective.

Elston said, "I knew they couldn't have missed seeing him, he had a large white parka on."

Police think a dark-colored SUV hit Jake. They found a grainy picture on a surveillance camera up the street at Harding High School. So how can they be so sure it's the hit and run driver? They say they saw something peculiar on the video.

Detective Williams-- "He drove down Alleghany, made a u-turn then drove back by Jake."

But why would the driver turn around?

"Maybe their conscience hit them for a second, they panicked at first, turned around wanted to make sure, and then saw the extent of the injuries and panicked even more."

Turning around and driving back by the body was a surprising bit of news when I informed Jake's family.

"Wow, now that's information we did not know," said his sister. "It hurts that someone would take the time to hit someone, then turnaround to look to see whatever you did and did not try to respond to even help the person."

His family and his girlfriend just want answers to relieve the pain of Jake's loss.

"I feel like I'm holding my breath and can't let it go."

Jake's girlfriend says she forgives the person who hit him. But she'd like people to donate to a reward fund to help catch them.

If you know anything about a dark SUV who was in the Pebblebrook and Alleghany area on Saturday night, February 15th, call Crime Stoppers, (704) 334-1600. You don't have to leave your name and there is reward money available.

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