Local News

Car involved in I-40 hit-and-run was stolen

Posted December 29, 2009 4:41 p.m. EST

— A car involved in a high-speed hit-and-run wreck on Interstate 40 early Sunday had been stolen, state Highway Patrol troopers said Tuesday.

A silver Lexus going more than 90 mph crashed into the back of a Geo Prizm driven by Jimmy Lee Brown, 49, on eastbound I-40 near Harrison Avenue, troopers said.

The impact sent Brown's car spinning more than 500 feet into a guard rail and left him with a fractured neck.

The Lexus was abandoned nearby, and the driver fled the scene before state troopers arrived. Troopers said they believe a white Toyota Camry with Pennsylvania tags was following the Lexus and picked up the driver after the collision.

Troopers had hoped to use the registration information from the Lexus to track down the driver and file charges against him or her, but they said Tuesday that the owner, Reginald Graves of Raleigh, reported the car stolen Monday morning.

Graves told investigators that he had left the car at a dealership for service and told them to leave the keys under the floor mat when they car was ready to be picked up. When he went to the dealership on Monday, he found it was missing and reported it stolen, troopers said.