(MOBILE, Ala.) - An eyewitness to a deadly hit and run accident in Mobile told Local 15 the response time was much longer than the “minute” police said it took.
“It was close to a half hour before the first cop showed up,” witness Buz Rummel told Local 15.
Rummel and his wife were driving directly behind the suspect’s vehicle on Government Street Saturday evening. Rummel said everyone on the roadway, including the suspect, was driving the speed limit.
“Suddenly the car in front of us swerved towards the center,” Rummel said. “The man’s body flew over the top of the [suspect’s] car and landed in the street.”
Rummel’s wife was behind the wheel. “We swerved and just barely missed the guy,” Rummel said.
Rummel said they pulled over and stopped to help, while the driver who hit the pedestrians kept going. “The cars behind us swerved to miss him as well and it was just a miracle he didn’t get ridden over a second time,” Rummel said. “A minute later, we realized there was another body about a block up.”
Rummel said a second pedestrian, a female, had been dragged by the car before becoming dislodged when the driver turned onto Catherine Street.
“The turn must have caused the body to come loose,” Rummel said.
Rummel said he and another bystander tried calling 911.
“I tried to call 911 and they didn’t answer,” Rummel said. “Somebody else was calling 911 and they said it rang forever and it finally got through.”
Rummel said firefighter paramedics arrived on scene approximately ten minutes later. However, Rummel said it took a half hour for the first police officer to show up.
Mobile Police told Local 15 on Thursday that a police officer on patrol found one of the victims lying in the street just one minute after the accident.
According to police, the female pedestrian died later at the hospital. She has been identified as 23-year-old Ashley Avis. The male victim, whose name has not been released, is expected to recover.
24 year-old Denesha Lavace Christian has been charged for the hit and run. Christian turned herself in Sunday. She faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.
“We know in situations like this, with life-threatening injuries, minutes count,” Mobile Police spokesperson Ashley Rains told Local 15. “Had Ms. Christian stopped, called 911, or been able to render aid herself, maybe we would have a victim who wouldn’t have died of her injuries.”