Man charged in hit-and-run death
A Thomasville man faces a felony hit-and-run charge in connection to a traffic fatality on National Highway.
Sgt. John Elgin with Thomasville Police Department said Ronald Wayne Warren, 21, of 175 Alberta Drive, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with felony hit and run in the death of 50-year-old Gussie Pearson, of Fairway Avenue.
Pearson died Jan. 4 after being struck by a vehicle while crossing National Highway near Tommy’s Bar-B-Cue.
According to Capt. Mark Kattner, Warren was traveling south on National Highway in a Chevrolet pickup truck and struck Pearson in the inside lane of travel. Warren, who did not stop after the accident, returned to the scene a few hours later.
“The felony hit and run is evident right now,” Elgin said. “He did strike a person and failed to stay at the scene.”
Officers arrived near 206 National Highway at approximately 5:51 p.m. and found Pearson laying unresponsive in the road. EMS transported Pearson to Thomasville Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries. Approximately two hours later, as the police traffic unit was conducting its accident reconstruction, Warren returned to the scene with his mother. Kattner said Warren called his mother saying he thought he hit something. She told him to return to the scene, which he did about 8:30 p.m.
“What was evident was he struck a person, which is a crash on a roadway, and left the scene,” Elgin said. “He didn’t stay at the scene to render any type of aid or wait for law enforcement to arrive to conduct their investigation. The law states a person shall remain at the scene of an accident unless there’s an emergency, they can’t pull over or get to a phone. The suspect had a cell phone and there was adequate parking where he could have pulled over. Why he left, we don’t know. He went home.”
Elgin said Warren voluntarily submitted to blood withdrawal and didn’t appear impaired when he returned to the scene. Warren’s blood samples were sent to the State Bureau of Investigation for examination. Elgin said it could take up to four months before results come back. Police also are waiting for a toxicology report from the Chief Medical Examiner on Pearson to determine if he was impaired.
“At this point in time, after consulting with the district attorney, we went ahead and charged him with hit and run,” Elgin said. “If anything else comes back, additional charges can be filed like impairment, texting while driving, things of that nature.”
Warren, who also was charged with careless and reckless driving in November, was issued a $50,000 secured bond and placed in the Davidson County Detention Center. He is scheduled to appear in Thomasville District Court on Feb. 6.
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