Local News

Missing patient struck by car in Wilson

Posted April 7, 2011
Updated April 9, 2011

Silver Alert

— A patient who left the Wilson Medical Center Wednesday was stuck by a car later that day, police said.

Police said that Michael James Hunt, 24, of Wilson, was taken to Wilson Medical Center for a psychological exam. After he disappeared, authorities issued a Silver Alert, which notifies the public about missing, endangered adults who suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments.

Hunt was struck by a 2008 Honda Civic on N.C. Highway 42 West, near Trace Drive, shortly before 8:30 p.m., police said. That location is about a mile and a half from the hospital.

He was flown to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where he was in critical condition Thursday.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the case. No charges have been filed in the wreck.


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  • fugitive guy Apr 7, 2011

    "Why wasn't a security guard watching him; knowing he was there for a psychological exam?"

    Many people go to the hospital for psychological exams, if the patient has not spoken of or demonstrated suicidal or violent intentions they can leave if they choose to. Unless involuntary committment papers have been signed then you cannot hold someone simply because they act a little crazy. Every case is specific, details are lacking here. Just because something bad happened to this man doesn't mean someone at the hospital dropped the ball. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't

  • mulecitybabe Apr 7, 2011

    Why wasn't a security guard watching him; knowing he was there for a psychological exam?

    At any given time there is at least one psych patient in the ED for an eval in just about every hospital in the state. There are not enough security guards to sit with them all. Fortunately, the majority of psych patients are not violent. Most of them are more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else.

  • mulecitybabe Apr 7, 2011

    It's very difficult sometimes to keep a person at the hospital who is there for psych eval. Unless they have a guardian that says they have to stay, or have been legally committed, they have as much right as you or I to leave. And even if they are legally required to stay, they are very likely to slip out if nobody's sitting right there with them 24/7.

    Our mental health system is in a mess. What happened to this poor guy is just a symptom of a system that has completely broken down. Spending more money is not the answer - spending the money we do have wisely is.

  • grnpnd7 Apr 7, 2011

    Why wasn't a security guard watching him; knowing he was there for a psychological exam?

  • kal Apr 7, 2011

    My father-in-law was in the hospital (not the one mentioned) after a heart attack (they did not think he would pull through. In ICU he told us he was going to leave. We begged that one of us be allowed to stay and informed them this is a stubborn man who does what he says. Of course we had some attitude about this is the ICU with __ staff all the time.... So, as soon as we got home (about 5 miles) acall form the hospital. He got up and left the hospital. Thank GOD he got into a van (with his gown) and with some in the driver seat with compassion and enough sense to call the hospital while talking with my father-in-law. And YES, we were informed if we wanted someone could spend the night with him.. Of course the hospitals's story change one I cam back. From he attempted to leave up to there were no problems, we just reconsidered our decisions (afraid of a lawsuit I guess).

  • John Sawtooth Apr 7, 2011

    A rather clumsy way to locate the poor fellow.
    "Hey, it's that guy they were looking for !"

  • b8380 Apr 7, 2011

    He somehow got away from the hospital in doctors scrubs is what was said around town yesterday.

  • lisa4 Apr 7, 2011

    I would like to know was he seen by a doctor before or after he "disappeared" and did anyone bring him to the hospital or did he come alone? This story is not real clear. Prayers going up for this young man.

  • anneonymousone Apr 7, 2011

    If Mr. Hunt requires a Silver Alert, his mental and/or cognitive difficulties are the kind that are most likely to cause harm to him, not to others.

  • pirategal Apr 7, 2011

    You would think our newspaper would have had something about the Silver Alert on their website, but nothing was ever said. It is scary that there is an elementary school within a tenth of a mile from the hospital.