Family of man struck by car after house fire wants driver to come forward

CLOVER, S.C. — Minutes after a man lost everything in a house fire, he was hit by a car in Clover. The driver took off, leaving the damaged car and now the man's family wants answers.

Phil Pitts, 61, was working on his motorcycle in his carport around 1 a.m. on Sept. 15 when the heat from the exhaust sparked a fire that spread to his home.

Once the fire was under control, Pitts walked to his sister’s home on Guinn Street, which is about a quarter-mile away.

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He was hit by a car about halfway to his destination.

Neighbor John Walker said Pitts' family told him after the hit-and-run, the driver backed the damaged car into Walker's driveway, got out and ran away.

Pitts was in critical condition after the accident with broken ribs and a severe head injury, but his family said he's recovering and now talking.

"Man, lose his house, then about less than five hours later, about lose his life," Walker said.

Family members told Channel 9's Ken Lemon, Pitts doesn't remember the fire or being hit by the driver.

"He still think he got a house," Pitts' sister Sheila Latta said. "He still think he got cars, but he don't have anything. Everything burnt to a crisp."

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According to Latta, her brother doesn't know today's date and still thinks Ronald Reagan is president.

She said the family has tried telling him what happened, but he still has questions that only the driver who hit him can answer.

Latta has a message for the driver who has not come forward.

"Turn yourself in. We are not mad at you,” Latta said. “Accidents happen, but just turn yourself in."

Leroy McGill, who went to high school with Pitts, spoke with his former classmate days before the tragic turn of events.

"He talked about getting ready to retire,” McGill said.

The Highway Patrol took the car as evidence as the investigation continues.