Crime

Driver struck a man, stopped to look, then drove away. Now the pedestrian has died.

Advice for pedestrians

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police handled 20 pedestrian fatalities last year, more than double the total for 2015, which was nine, according to Sgt. David Sloan, now retired with the major crash investigations unit.
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Charlotte-Mecklenburg police handled 20 pedestrian fatalities last year, more than double the total for 2015, which was nine, according to Sgt. David Sloan, now retired with the major crash investigations unit.

A 28-year-old pedestrian died at a hospital, five days after a hit-and-run driver struck him on a north Charlotte road, police said.

Hit and Run SUV.jpg
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

According to a police news release, Tommie Lee Ruffin was hit in the 5100 block of Reagan Drive late Saturday by the driver of a burgundy mid-sized SUV, possibly a Nissan Rogue. That’s near Interstate 85 and West Sugar Creek Road.

Ruffin was the fourth pedestrian to die in Charlotte this month. Charlotte experienced a record number of pedestrian deaths in 2018, as 28 people were killed while crossing city streets.

The driver who hit Ruffin pulled into the parking lot of a Royal Inn and walked over to the pedestrian lying in the road, police said in Thursday’s news release. The driver then returned to the SUV and drove away. He was last seen traveling toward North Graham Street, police said.

Ruffin died at Atrium Health Wednesday night, according to the police news release.

The SUV has luggage roof rails and damage to the front bumper, headlight, hood and possibly the windshield, police said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police on Thursday released surveillance photos of the SUV.

Anyone with information is asked to call CMPD Detective Andrew Oberer at 704-432-2169 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

On Thursday night, police reported yet another pedestrian being hit by a car, on South Boulevard near Woodlawn Road.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He suffered broken bones in the collision at 5:40 p.m., police said. No charges will be filed against the driver, who stayed at the scene, according to a CMPD media release.

The pedestrian was jaywalking, had dark clothes on and crossed the street in front of the car, according to CMPD’s release.

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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.


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