Witness: Hit-and-Run Suspect Called 911, Then Ordered Burger
Posted February 11, 2008 9:21 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2008 1:07 a.m. EST
Mebane, NC — A man facing charges of DWI and felony death-by-vehicle ordered a cheeseburger directly after calling 911 to report hitting an Orange County teenager, witnesses said.
Che Skaggs was at least 10 feet off the road when he was struck and killed Saturday afternoon at 4503 Claibornes Road near Mebane. The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Scott Belling was drunk when his car hit Skaggs.
"I came up here to get my hamburgers and what not, and there's kids that do their skating and what not in the road, and I think I may have hit one," Belling said in the call to 911 several minutes later. "I'm not sure. I just – a kid kind of came in, and I've got a flat right front tire that tells me something happened with that kid." (Listen to the entire 911 call.)
In the call, Belling, 47, said he drove eight minutes before realizing his tire was flat. That's when, he said, he realized something might have happened.
"Somebody needs to get out there and make sure I did not hit a kid," Belling told the 911 operator.
Witnesses said Belling, 47, went into the Three Points Grill, about four miles from the accident scene, called 911 and then ordered a cheeseburger.
“He called 911 and said he had hit a guy down the road," Three Points Grill assistant manager Amelia Allen told WRAL as she recalled what waitresses had told her. "He came in and ordered a cheeseburger and he left saying he was going back to the scene of the accident.”
A waitress at the Three Points Grill said Belling smelled of alcohol. The Highway Patrol confirmed his blood alcohol content was .23, almost three times the legal threshold of .08 for driving while impaired.
Belling was charged Saturday with driving while impaired and felony hit-and-run. His was later charged with felony death-by-vehicle. He was being held in the Orange County Jail Monday evening under a $70,000 bond.
Meanwhile Monday, friends and staff at Orange High School remembered Skaggs, a sophomore.
“I was shocked. It really hurt me. I just didn't know what to think. How could it happen like that?” Skaggs' friend Josh Davis asked.
“He was a student who came to school every day. He did his job, did his work. He was a good kid,” Assistant Principal Kathy Fuerst said.