Crime & Courts

Video footage, car parts lead to arrest in fatal east Charlotte pedestrian hit-and-run

Police arrested a 64-year-old driver accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian on Central Avenue in east Charlotte and then driving away.

The pedestrian was pronounced dead at Atrium Health Center on Wednesday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release. Police said they will release the pedestrian’s name and age once his family is notified.

Ngongo Elongo Musafiri was charged with felony hit and run and was freed on $3,500 bail, Mecklenburg County jail records show.

Ngongo Elongo Musafiri was charged with felony hit and run in connection with the death of a pedestrian on Central Avenue in east Charlotte on Wednesday night, Jan. 9, 2019. Mecklenburg County jail

Police identified the suspected hit-and-run sedan “by car parts/debris and video footage,” according to CMPD’s release.

Officers found Musafiri and the car in the 4300 block of Central Avenue, according to the release.

The pedestrian was hit just before 6 p.m. Wednesday in the 4500 block of Central Avenue, police said. Musafiri was arrested about four hours later, jail records show.

The victim was hit in the right westbound lane, police said.

“The driver of the suspect vehicle did not stop or call 911,” police said in the release. “A witness to the crash attempted to follow the suspect vehicle but was unable to safely identify the location of the suspect vehicle.”

Charlotte experienced a record number of pedestrian deaths in 2018, as 28 people were killed while crossing city streets.

Wednesday night’s death was the third pedestrian fatality of the new year.

On Jan. 1, a pedestrian died after he was hit by three vehicles in University City, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

On Jan. 5, 22-year-old Breondra Newman was pronounced dead after she was hit by two cars in the 9600 block of South Tryon Street in southeast Charlotte, the Observer reported.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.