CMPD investigator says hit and run trend so far this year is 'di - | WBTV Charlotte

CMPD investigator says hit and run trend so far this year is 'disturbing'


It happened again this past weekend. A hit and driver seriously injured someone and left the scene.

Police say the victim is still fighting for her life. Investigators say detectives were closing in on the suspect when the driver turned himself in to police the next morning.

This is the fourth case so far this year that detectives with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Major Crash unit have investigated a hit and run case that caused a fatality or critical injuries. While that unit investigates the most serious cases, hit and run collisions where are people not badly hurt are handled by each division. 

"The trend is disturbing to see the people are taking off from the scene," says Sergeant David Sloan.

In February, Jessey Miller died after a hit and run driver knocked him off his bicycle on Wilkinson Boulevard.

And in January, Corey Brown was walking along Lawyers Road in east Charlotte when a hit and run driver killed him. His body was found on the sidewalk. 

"Whoever hit him. Whoever done it – I just wish they would go ahead and turn themselves in so we can straighten this matter out. That would be huge for me" Corey's father, Larry Brown told WBTV. 

Mr. Brown says he's still struggling with his son's death. He's asking anyone with information to contact police and still remain anonymous.

There's now a $1500 reward for information in the hit and run death of Corey Brown.

His father says he doesn't understand how a driver could do it. 

"How could you live with that? How could you? Even with that.. my prayers is that the person would just go ahead and turn themselves in" he says. 

Police say they're seeing more cases of drivers leaving scenes.

"Yeah I mean it seems like it could be getting worse," Sgt Sloan told WBTV. "The cases we handle usually there’s something involved like alcohol. The person at the time they get in a crash, hit somebody, they’d been drinking so they panic and they take off. They might not have a driver’s license. We see a lot of those of individuals driving on a revoked license so they don’t want to go to jail so they hit somebody and take off immediately."

Investigators say most hit and run drivers are eventually caught.

"We do catch probably – I’d say 90% of the people that are involved in hit/runs one way or the other," Sloan said. 

Police say in the hit and run on South Tryon Street on Saturday, technology helped them.

"We have cameras all over the city. You have witness information that we go by and when we put all those together you know we can go back and look at these cameras and that’s what happened," Sgt Sloan said, adding, "The real time crime center that we have here at the department was able to locate the vehicle that was suspected in the hit and run, get a tag information off of all of that. We followed up, go by the house, talk to the parents, things like that and we end up locating the vehicle and the suspect." 

Sloan says "we were already onto the suspect in this case this weekend based on information we had. He ended up turning himself in the next morning."

Investigators say drivers need to realize that they have to remain on the scene. 

Police say it's not just hit and runs that seem to be spiking. Officers say they're seeing an increase in crashes in general.

"I’m concerned because last year we had 77 fatalities that our unit worked. That was the most since 2000. This year we are at 20 fatalities. Last year we were at 12 this time," Sgt Sloan said. So we are already up 8 on last year’s number and last year’s was the highest amount."

Police say a number of reasons are leading to the increases in collisions. 

"You got pedestrians that are getting hit that are fault. You got pedestrians that are walking and using the signals that they’re supposed to – like the other night was in a crosswalk when an individual ran a red light and struck her but you have drunk driving, you have people speeding," Sgt Sloan says. "The ones we are concerned about are the speeding, the alcohol use, pedestrians, people not wearing their seat belts."

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