GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina)- Greenville police say they arrested a suspect after a deadly hit and run that occurred on May 29 in Greenville.
Officers say the suspect, 38-year-old Veronica Dawn Tharp, is charged with the following.
- Reckless Homicide
- Hit and Run with Death
- Driving Under Suspension
- Possession of a Stolen Vehicle
Officers say that they determined Tharp had stolen the vehicle shortly before the collision occurred on May 29.
According to officers, they used evidence from the scene, statements from witnesses and CCTV footage to get an idea of what happened.
Investigators say they determined that Tharp was driving a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer when she crossed two lanes of oncoming traffic, drove onto the sidewalk, and struck the victim. Tharp fled the scene on foot without rendering aid or notifying law enforcement according to officers. She was also operating the vehicle with a suspended driver's license, according to officials.
The Greenville County Coroner's Office released a statement after one person died after a fatal wreck occurred near Augusta Place in Greenville.
The Greenville County Coroner's Office says they responded to 2408 Augusta Street in reference to a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. They identified the victim as 38-year-old Brittany Langley Lawson.
Greenville County Coroner Park Evans said in a statement,
"Brittany Langley Lawson and her dog were running on the sidewalk of Augusta Street near the intersection with Augusta Place. A dark colored sports utliity vehicle was traveling on Augusta Street in the direction of Faris Road when the vehicle crossed the oncoming lanes of traffic, crossed the sidewalk and struck Mrs. Lawson and her dog. Mrs Langley and her dog died at the scene."
Greenville Police Department initially confirmed that dispatch advised that an SUV traveling near Augusta St. ran off of the roadway and struck a pedestrian walking a dog.
The suspect vehicle was unoccupied when officers arrived, according to Greenville police.
Laurie Medlin was walking her dog Baxter around her neighborhood early Saturday when she heard something unusual.
"I was walking on Mount Vista and up in Tallulah and about that time I heard a bunch of dogs barking and a lot of racket that you don't normally hear at 7:15 in the morning," she said.
Matthew Cretsinger lives in the apartment where the incident occurred in front of.
"I woke up and it was just like a minute or two after 7 a.m. with a loud bang and didn't know what it was. I looked out and could not see anything at all, went back to sleep. Until about 7:45 and that's when fire trucks, ambulances, all the Greenville police were here already, they had the road blocked off," he said.
Cretsinger says when he found out what was going on he was saddened and shocked.
"Horrible scene to wake up to, and then you find out that somebody didn't even stick around to see if the pedestrian or the dog was even okay," he said.
Neighbors in the area tell FOX Carolina that this stretch of road has been a safety concern for years.
"I don't walk on Augusta Road normally like I said because of the traffic, and it's busy and cars don't ever go the speed limit," said Medlin.
"It's a 30 mile per hour zone through here and to signal to turn into my driveway. It's, at 5 o'clock, it's crazy. The traffic will back up half a mile in each direction just trying to turn in," added Cretsinger.
Former Greenville City Council Member Garry Coulter released this statement to us,
"I was shocked but sadly not surprised to see the aftermath of the traffic accident in front of my home on Augusta St. this afternoon. Our prayers are with the victims family.
Speeding, poor road design and signal control are long standing problems that have never been meaningfully addressed. Enforcement of the speed limit, better signal control would help. A simple median could have saved a life today. It is my hope that something could be done in the future to make our Street safer."
The city of Greenville has a formal process for addressing traffic concerns on local streets, you can find that if you click here. Additionally, Greenville City Engineer Clint Link and and the South Carolina Department of Transportation are meeting later this week to discuss how to improve pedestrian and driver safety in the area where the incident occurred, according to GPD.
A GoFundMe for the family of Brittany Lawson has been set up.