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7-Year-Old Dies in Hit-and-Run Case

Posted April 15, 2008

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— A 7-year-old boy who was critically injured by a suspected drunk driver in Johnston County, has died, his family said Tuesday.

State troopers said Marcus Lassiter, 7, was trying to cross Heath Road when a car struck him on Sunday. An adult had been watching him and another young child play in the yard, his aunt, Mary Ann Cooley, said.

Cooley said the family made the decision to remove Marcus from life support, and he died late Monday night.

Relatives said doctors at Duke University Hospital had declared Marcus brain dead. The child’s leg was broken and he had brain damage.

The driver, Pollo Hernandez Rodriquez, faces charges of felony hit and run, driving while impaired, driving without a license, driving a stolen car and causing serious injury with a motor vehicle.

The Highway Patrol said Tuesday they believe Rodriquez did not give his real name to police. Troopers are trying to determine his identity to run a criminal background. That will help determine what charges are appropriate.

Rodriquez remained in jail Tuesday, held on a $1 million bond.

Police said they arrested Rodriquez after he tried to flee from the scene.

146 Comments

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  • news4u Apr 15, 2008

    I was out there Sunday minutes after this happened. Once captured "Pollo" spoke decent English to Allen Hester but when the deputies handed him over to the troopers he was "no comprende". He also has a prior DWI arrest in NC. Make sure you have an uninsured motorist policy because there are a lot of illegal drivers out there. Once you break one law what's another?

  • piperchuck Apr 15, 2008

    "piperchuck: So....I don't own a business that employs anyone except myself & therefore can't pull up the welcome mat...now what??"

    Don't support businesses that obviously do hire illegals. Tell your elected officials firmly and often that you do not want illegals in the country and that they need to enforce the existing laws. Remind them of the problems being caused by illegals, such as this story documents, and that you will hold them accountable if they take no action to clean up this mess.

  • BreakYourself Apr 15, 2008

    prayers to the family, I am very proud of them for making the decision not delay the inevitable. God Bless them. Too many children are lost because of craziness.

  • deannasoprano Apr 15, 2008

    my prayers are with the family i too lost a friend to a drunk driver when he was only 5 so hard to handle

  • smilenc Apr 15, 2008

    RACE IS NOT THE ISSUE, A FAMILY HAS LOST THIER CHILD LOSING A CHILD IS THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD BUT THE WAY THEY LOST THIER CHILD IS WRONG THIS GUY SHOULD PAY THE PRICE IN JAIL AND I HOPE HE WILL ALWAYS KEEP THIS CHILD IN MIND AND NEVER FORGET THE PAIN HE HAS CAUSED THIS FAMILY THIS CHILDS LIFE WAS CUT SHORT BECAUSE OF SOMEONE BEING STUPIED,GOD BLESS THE FAMILY

  • GIGATT Apr 15, 2008

    Rev. RB ... who gave you authority to condemn anyone?

  • trianglerelic Apr 15, 2008

    " I haven't noticed any more hit and run incidents involving Hispanics than any other ethnicity. In fact, there are far fewer . I'm not even a minority and your ignorance is still breath-taking."

    The problem with this statement is that you are not looking at the total population. Yes, Hispanic may only be involved in 35% of hit and run accidents, but they are also a small minority. You must compare the ratio of hit and runs to the ratio of hispanics compared to all other races in the area....

    Ulimately, it's a cultural problem. My understanding is that drinking and driving is more socially acceptable in Mexico.

    The ONLY way to stop this growing problem is to set up police road checks!!!! Catch people in the act and send a Message!!!

  • james27613 Apr 15, 2008

    Jail in Mexico, I don't think so,
    this guy will be back in the usa in
    less then a month !
    ....................................................
    Put him in a car, drive him back to Mexico and let the Mexican authorities have him. No trial, no jury... I DO NOT want my hard earned tax dollars paying for him in jail here. Put him in their warm lovely jail for the rest of his life. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

  • koverbee Apr 15, 2008

    " I haven't noticed any more hit and run incidents involving Hispanics than any other ethnicity. In fact, there are far fewer . I'm not even a minority and your ignorance is still breath-taking."

    My breath is taken away by the ignorance of that statement. Read the papers. Watch the news. There are more hispanics involved in hit and runs than any other nationality. That is because they are usually here illegally, don't have a license or insurance, and many times they are drinking as well. They don't want to be there when the cops show up because they are afraid of being deported. I realize this is not the case with all immigrants, but it is true of the majority. What really gets to me is that they have the nerve to come here to our country, whether legally or illegally, and break our laws. They should have enough respect for our laws and appreciation for being in our country, that they follow the law to the letter.

  • koverbee Apr 15, 2008

    "I just saw an interesting comment. Someone said that the majority of hispanics are law abiding citizens, whether they are here legally or not. "

    If they are here illegally then they are not law abiding. Even if they come here & break no additional laws, they are still criminals.

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