Police search for driver after hit-and-run on Central Avenue

by: Paige Hansen Updated:

Loading

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A pedestrian struck and critically injured Tuesday night was still recovering Wednesday, officials said.
 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg detectives told Eyewitness News they have been trying to get surveillance video that shows what happened around 9:30 p.m.
 
They went to businesses nearby and reached out to Charlotte Area Transit System but so far, they haven't found any video so they're relying on witnesses.
 
Police said the pedestrian, Donnis Patterson, was crossing from one side of Central Avenue when he was struck by two cars.
 
Channel 9 cameras saw pedestrians on Central Avenue crossing the street Wednesday without using the crosswalk.
 
Nema Masino said she does it too.
 
"The median right here, when you cross here you only have one-way traffic," Masino said. "Up there at the pedestrian crossing there is the turn lane that's coming in. You have to kind of look three ways when you're crossing."
 
Patterson was not in a crosswalk Tuesday night when a woman in a Ford Explorer hit him. 
 
Police said she stopped immediately but a second car hit Patterson and drove away.
 
"Other drivers don't really notice the pedestrians. They just kind of fly by the bus just to get around the bus," Masino said.
 
Police are searching for the driver of a dark sedan, possibly a Nissan Sentra.
 
Eyewitness News checked with the state about how often pedestrians are struck and killed.
 
In 2012 -- the latest data available -- there was a jump to 188 fatalities which is 28 more than the year before.
 
N.C. Department of Transportation said Mecklenburg County has the highest number of pedestrian crashes but local officials said there hasn't been enough of an increase to determine a trend. 
 
"It could have been me that hit the person or it could have been me walking," Leandria Locklear, who works nearby said.
 
Locklear said she left an hour before Tuesday night's crash.
 
"I'm going to pay more attention to the road and more attention to people walking on the streets," Locklear said.
 
Police said the pedestrian who was struck suffered most of his injuries after being hit by the first driver. They said the second driver also injured the victim. If caught, that person could face felony hit-and-run charges.