Hospitalized hit-skip victim dies
by By Frank Lewis
PDT Staff Writer
A Portsmouth woman, struck by a hit-skip motorist on Oct. 1, has died at a Huntington hospital. Mary Jane (M.J.) Collins (Skaggs), 55, was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital in W.Va. after she was struck by a car in the 1600 block of Kendall Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Monday afternoon Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said Monday Collins had died.
“She died early Sunday morning,” Detective Sergeant Rob Davis said. “That’s when I got the information from the West Virginia Medical Examiner.”
Davis said Collins’ body had been ordered for an autopsy by the Scioto County Coroner’s Office. While it was not clear where that autopsy was being performed, most of the time both the city and the county utilize the services of the Montgomery County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Officers said they received a call of a pedestrian being struck by a car. They were told that the vehicle that struck the pedestrian had left the scene.
Officers said when they arrived on the scene, they found Collins was the person struck by the car. She was treated at the scene by Life Ambulance employees then flown to Cabell Huntington due to the severity of her injuries.
Police said the hit-skip vehicle was identified by witnesses as a blue Chevrolet Cavalier driven by a male subject. They said, following leads given by witnesses at the scene, Lieutenant Jason Hedrick located the hit-skip vehicle at the rear of a residence located in the 3200 block of Scioto Trail. Police said the driver was identified as Jeffrey Walker, 37, also of Portsmouth. They said Walker was taken into custody and interviewed, then released.
“But he was arrested that night for probation violation,” Davis said. “And he was being detained by his probation officer for another offense.”
The crash is being conducted by Davis, who is the department’s crash reconstructionist.
“It moves now from a personal injury crash to a fatality investigation,” Davis said. “That could result in different charges, depending on the presentation to the (Scioto County) grand jury. The reason he was not charged that night with the crash itself was in fear that this could happen. We wouldn’t want him to plea to a lesser charge and have her pass away. We would rather wait, get all the test results back to find out what was going to happen with the pedestrian, and then present all the evidence to the grand jury. We’re also pending results on the driver.”
Portsmouth Police Captain Lynn Brewer said anyone who has any information about the incident is being asked to call the Portsmouth Police Department at 740-353-4101.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.
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