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Man fleeing Nashville traffic stop causes pedestrian-car accident

When Nashville Metro Police attempted to pull over a 28-year-old driver for not having his headlights on during an afternoon rainstorm, the man sped away instead. He jumped a curb and struck a 55-year-old man who was innocently walking on the sidewalk along Arthur Avenue. The victim was critically injured in the pedestrian-car accident.

The events that ended with the shocking June 22 wreck apparently occurred because the driver felt he could not afford to be pulled over. First of all, the car was stolen. Second, the driver had no valid license. Finally, he had two warrants out for his arrest: One for a probation violation and one for domestic violence. His reluctance to face police nearly cost that pedestrian his life.

The pedestrian was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition, where he remained for hours after the arrest. The Tennessean has not provided any further information about his condition.

While the Metro Police were on foot before the car accident, they did not give up. The driver abandoned the stolen car after his flight, but he left his wallet and ID inside. A police dog then helped the police track the man down to 10th Avenue North and Kellow Street -- where someone had already reported seeing a man who seemed to be trying to break into a school.

The 28-year-old man was arrested and has been charged with a number of violations, both in connection with the car accident and the outstanding warrants. He faces criminal charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, failure to render aid and leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) for the car accident. He is also charged with motor vehicle theft and driving on a revoked license. Finally, he will now be required to face the domestic violence and probation violation charges.

Walking down the street shouldn't put you at risk of a fatal car accident. While it may not always be possible to prevent the degree of reckless behavior exhibited by this driver, please do all you can to discourage those you know and love from taking chances with their lives and the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. Please drive safely.

Source: The Tennessean, "Wanted man flees traffic stop, strikes pedestrian with car," Brian Haas, June 22, 2011

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