CMPD enters 'uncharted territory' after volunteer injured in hit-and-run

Credit: City of Charlotte
Credit: City of Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A driver is wanted for reportedly striking a CMPD volunteer who was directing traffic at a scene of a crash in south Charlotte Monday.

A car overturned in the right lane of Park Road between Hillside Avenue and Marsh Road after hitting a power pole around 6 p.m. Monday. The driver of the vehicle was not injured, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

Park Road was shut down in both directions for some time Monday evening due to downed utility lines caused by the wreck.

While responding to the crash, a CMPD Citizens on Patrol Volunteer, who was identified as William Schweppe, was struck by a white four-door sedan at 6:38 p.m. The vehicle then fled the scene after hitting Schweppe, police said.

According to WBTV's partner The Charlotte Observer, Schweppe is in his 60s.

He was wearing a reflective vest and was using a flashlight as he was directing traffic when he was struck by the driver, police said. CMPD said Schweppe also had emergency lights activated on a marked vehicle when the incident happened.

CMPD said Schweppe was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries after he was struck. Schweppe underwent surgery Tuesday and has "a long road ahead of him," according to CMPD Sgt. Chris Koppe.

Schweppe's medical bills are being paid by the city, police said.

During a press conference, police said a similar incident has never happened in the history of the volunteer program.

"In the history of the program this has never happened," Koppe said. "Right now we're just trying to make sure he's OK. We're taking care of him, we're taking care of his family and we're going to get them through this."

Officials asked drivers to take an alternate route while crews worked to clear the scene and repair the power poles.

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