Man arrested in fatal hit-and-run
Posted March 13, 2009 5:22 a.m. EDT
Updated March 13, 2009 9:27 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh Police arrested a man who they believe drove a passenger van that hit and killed a pedestrian on Falls of Neuse Road Wednesday.
Capt. K.S. Craighead credited "phenomenal police work" by Officer M.J. Corso with the arrest Thursday of Carlos David Rodriguez-Bautista, 39, early Friday.
Rodriguez-Bautista faces felony hit-and-run charges in the death of Lewis Avery Gray, 71, on Wednesday morning. Police said they believe Rodriguez-Bautista was driving the first of four vehicles that struck Gray as he was trying to cross Falls of Neuse Road at Spring Forest Road.
Corso was on patrol in the 7200 block of Woodbend Drive shortly before midnight Thursday and noticed a 2003 Chrevolet passenger van that had heavy front-end damage consistent with having struck a person, Craighead said. Police reviewed evidence from the wreck scene and found that it was consistent with the damage on the van.
Additional officers came to the scene and canvassed an apartment complex. They tracked down the van's alleged driver, Rodriguez-Bautista, and questioned and arrested him.
Investigators believe that Rodriguez-Bautista stopped and got out of the van briefly before driving away, police said. There was no crosswalk where Gray was hit.
Police also have charged Carlos Humberto Agustindiaz, who was driving a truck for Apex-based Parker’s Landscape Services, with misdemeanor hit-and-run.
The drivers of the two other vehicles that hit Gray stayed at the scene and will not be charged, police said.
Police planned to meet with the Wake County District Attorney's Office to decide if additional charges should be filed against Rodriguez-Bautista.
Gray's neighbors said that he lived less than a mile away from where he died. They said he loved walking and did it every day.
“Even in the rain, he would walk up and down the street. Early in the morning, sometimes,” neighbor Lynn Hess said.