Local News

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

Posted April 15, 2008 5:22 a.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2008 9:18 p.m. EDT

— 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.