Local News

Hit-And-Run Victim Was Ex-Firefighter Who Worked in Iraq

Posted February 8, 2007 8:39 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2007 8:41 p.m. EST

A former Durham firefighter is in critical condition after a hit-and-run crash on Wednesday. Police say someone left Alvin Newsome  Jr. for dead.

"It came as a shock," said Chief Bruce Pagan, who visited Newsome's family in the hospital Thursday morning.

Pagan told WRAL that Newsome worked as a Durham firefighter for six years - much of it at Station No. 2.

In 2004, the 32-year-old retired and headed to Iraq to work for a private contractor, Pagan said.

"Alvin's a tough guy -- a physically tough guy -- strong and tough," Pagan said, also describing him as hard-working and well-liked.

Durham police say that on Wednesday afternoon, Newsome, on a motorcycle, was headed east on Holloway Street when a truck pulled out from Beasley Avenue in front of him. Newsome, authorities said, tried to avoid it.

Newsome suffered head, arm and lung injuries. He was wearing a helmet.

"We were trying to get to him. He was face down and wasn't moving at all," said Ahman Amos, who works nearby and saw the aftermath of the crash.

"The guy didn't even stop," Amos said.

Police say the driver, who was in a late 90s burgundy Ford F-150 pickup truck, pulled onto a side street and then sped off. Police said it had a Mexican flag hanging from the rearview mirror.

Amos did not have time to get the license plate number but says that in the past 24 hours since the crash, he has had time to reflect on Newsome.

"I said a prayer for him," Amos said. "I hope he comes out of this all right -- I really do.