Police suspect hit and run in East Spencer wreck

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Sarah Nagem
EAST SPENCER ó Rescue workers took three people to the hospital Saturday evening after what police think was a hit-and-run accident.
The driver of a 2000 gray Hyundai sedan going west on Torbush Street ran a stop sign and struck a car at the intersection of Shaver Street, police said.
The driver of the Hyundai left the scene, according to a witness.
The Hyundai struck the left side of a 1994 Volvo, which was driven by Rudolph Valentino Norris, of Maryland.
Norris was not injured, but the passenger, Alicia Lynnette Gilchrist, 30, of Vass, was transported to Rowan Regional Medical Center, said L. Melton, an East Spencer Police officer.
“She was entrapped in the car,” Melton said of Gilchrist.
Gilchrist did not appear to have serious injuries, he said.
Melton said two passengers in the Hyundai were also taken to Rowan Regional ó Lisa Amanda Threatte, of Salisbury, and Shana Charlton, of East Spencer. They did not have serious injuries, he said.
When police arrived, Melton said, one of the women who had been in the Hyundai said she was the driver. But now police don’t think that’s true.
“I heard the hit of the car,” said Ronald Ferguson, who lives on nearby Henderson Street. “That’s when I run over.”
Ferguson said he saw a man get out of the driver’s side of the Hyundai and leave the scene.
If caught, the driver could face hit-and-run charges and charges of fleeing the scene of an accident, Melton said.
He said the driver of the Hyundai was obviously driving at a “high rate of speed” at the time of the crash.
Some neighbors who gathered at the scene Saturday said they think the intersection is dangerous.
Drivers on Torbush Street have to stop at the intersection, but those on Shaver do not.
“This is an intersection that should have a four-way stop,” said Robert Kelsaw, who lives on Shaver.
Joe Jones said he has lived on Torbush for 19 years.
“They don’t pay no attention,” Jones said of drivers at the intersection. “‘Cause they go too fast when they pass my driveway.”
Jones, and Luis Perez, who also lives on Torbush, both said they want the city to put stop signs on Shaver Street.
Perez said his dog got hit by a car and was killed in the intersection a couple of years ago. He said he worries for his young children’s safety.
“It’s a concern,” Kelsaw said.