Local News

Raleigh police search for suspect in wheelchair hit and run

Posted March 6, 2013 5:02 p.m. EST
Updated March 6, 2013 7:42 p.m. EST

— Police are looking for the driver who hit a man Monday night as he was crossing the street in east Raleigh, sending both him and his wheelchair flying into the air.

Alejandro Lopopo, 45, was on his way to a local store near his home on Diquedo Drive around 8:45 p.m. when witnesses said a dark-colored sedan hit him as he crossed the street at Skycrest and Charney drives.

By the time Lopopo saw the car, he said Wednesday, it was too late for him to get out of the way.

"I was thinking, 'It's going to kill me,' Lopopo said. "He almost killed me, and he kept going. He didn't stop."

Witnesses said they saw Lopopo flying through the air and land on the ground in a heap and then saw the sedan, with a damaged front end, speeding away. The car also had a dangling bumper, and a side mirror was found at the scene of the wreck.

The force of the impact knocked Lopopo out of his wheelchair, which was mangled. The chair, he said, likely saved his life.

"That's why I'm thinking I'm alive," Lopopo said. "If you saw that wheelchair, nobody can sit on that wheelchair and live."

Lopopo was treated at a local hospital for injuries to his legs, as well as cuts on his arms, elbows and right eye.

He did get a new wheelchair but said the accident is a big setback for him as he was already disabled when he was hit by a car in 2007.

Anyone with information that could help investigators solve the case is asked to contact Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.