Police: Driver arrested after hitting Garinger H.S. student

Police: Driver arrested after hitting Garinger H.S. student

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police arrested a man after a hit-and-run collision injured a high school student early Tuesday morning in east Charlotte.

Charlotte fire officials were called to the scene around 7 a.m. near Garinger High School on Eastway Drive.

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"I was walking down to school and I saw a girl lying down," witness Christian Flores said. "She was crossing the road."

Witnesses told Channel 9 that a female student was grazed by a car. CMS officials said the 15-year-old girl is a Garinger student and that she suffered a broken arm.

Flores said he did not see the car hit the girl, but he said she was carrying two bookbags and appeared to be aware of everything that happened.

The car was gone by the time police arrived, but less than two hours later, officers on the southwest side of town had stopped it.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged Josue Anival Flores-Benitez, 26, with felony hit-and-run and no operator’s license.

Investigators said he told police he panicked and took off.

Police said the girl will be OK but the incident, very close to where another Garinger student was hit and killed almost four years ago, raises questions.

Police said the girl was crossing where there was no crosswalk.

On Tuesday afternoon other students, who had not heard about the accident, were also crossing that same busy street.

“Anytime I see a chance to cross, I cross,” Carlos Margarito said.

"They're crossing, the traffic is going 35 to 40 mph, so it is an ongoing issue we'd like to see resolved," Lt. Luke Sell with CMPD said.

Sell said officers will be at the school for the next couple of days to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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