A Rockingham man suffering injuries from a hit-and-run accident on U.S. 74 Business is asking the community to help him identify the driver he says struck him from behind with a car.
William Chavis, 31, said he was riding his scooter from his parents’ house in Lilesville to Rockingham last Tuesday when he heard a loud crash and blacked out.
“I had to take a day off work to go to Charlotte to see about surgery on my knee, because it was already torn and messed up,” Chavis said. “I was on my way home that night on the scooter, and all I remember is seeing a truck in front of me and thinking, wow, that’s one of those chicken trucks and they smell horrible. I tried to get away because it kicked up a lot of dirt.
“All of a sudden I hear a boom — and it’s like a gunshot. The next thing I know, I woke up in the hospital. I vaguely remember being in the ambulance, then there, in the hospital, a little. I was so out of it that they asked me how old I was and I told them 19.”
According to a report filed by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Chavis was traveling east on U.S. 74 Business when another vehicle, referred to as Unit 1, failed to reduce speed and collided with Chavis. The report said Chavis’s scooter “skidded out of control, overturned on the roadway, ran off the road to the right and ejected the operator.” Unit 1 allegedly left the scene after impact.
“When I arrived, I saw the moped in the ditch,” said Trooper R.B. Goodwin of the State Highway Patrol. “The rider was sitting up when I got there. An ambulance arrived at the same time I did, and the medic rushed him to Moore Regional.
“I got to the hospital and was able to speak with him,” Goodwin continued. “He told me he was struck from behind and didn’t have a clue who or what it was. We don’t have any witnesses. I went back out to the scene and found some evidence in the grass that could be from another vehicle, if a vehicle wreck hadn’t taken place there before. I don’t have a whole lot to go on — however, based on what I did find on the scene, and based on his testimony, he was struck from behind with something, so I listed it as a hit and run.”
Goodwin said the case is still under investigation.
“You never know with these cases what might materialize,” he said. “Right now, we have no leads.”
The accident has left Chavis with a shattered wrist and a severe case of road rash.
“It’s hard to walk, it’s hard to do anything,” Chavis said. “My son won’t even come to me because he doesn’t recognize me with a black eye and stitches.
“If I could just ask the person one thing, it would just be ‘why?’” Chavis said. “Why did they leave me to die? … The person just needs to come forward. Something needs to happen.”
Chavis said he is hopeful that someone in the community will come forward with more information about the hit-and-run accident.
“I’d love to find restitution for him and be able to prosecute somebody that would hurt someone like that,” Goodwin said. “Highway Patrol is always open — if someone knows something about a wreck, incident or laws being violated, our offices are open for comment or assistance. That’s how we accomplish our mission — through the public.”
Those with any information about the accident are asked to contact State Highway Patrol at 910-582-7018.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.