Police ID pedestrian struck by vehicle, dragged 3 miles in W-S

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A man died after he was struck by a vehicle and dragged three miles down multiple streets in Winston-Salem.

Police say John Otis Hill, 54, was struck by a vehicle traveling north on Cleveland Avenue near East 25th Street around 9:19 p.m. Wednesday night.

After colliding with the pedestrian, the suspect vehicle stopped for a moment before continuing with the victim trapped under the vehicle for at least three miles down Cleveland Avenue, Akron Drive, Ogburn Avenue and Knapp Street.

It's believed the driver even stopped at a gas pump on the corner of Ogburn and Akron with Hill still under the vehicle. Hill was found alive by officers in the roadway at Kapp Street and Idlewild Industrial Drive. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital where he died from his injuries.

"I said come out of the street and [Hill] said it’s my legs my legs is out," said JoAnn Singletary, who first found Hill lying on Cleveland Street just before being hit.

wsWitnesses say Hill had either been hit earlier by a vehicle or was having trouble walking when they found him in the street and called 911. Neighbors pulled Hill to the sidewalk but Singletary says he kept moving back into the street as traffic went around him -- except for an SUV sitting at the stop light.

"When the light turned green, she hit the gas ... [Hill] saw the car coming at him and when it hit him I screamed, he screamed," Singletary said.

Singletary says the driver of the SUV pulled over one block away in sight of her and police that had just arrived. As neighbors ran after the SUV, Singletary says she tried telling officers what had just happened and that Hill was under the vehicle one block away.

"They could of caught whoever was driving, but just kept asking questions." Singletary claimed. "[The officers] still wanted to know where the body was at and we kept saying the body is up under that car!"

A police spokesperson could not be reached Thursday evening for comment. Investigators would not release a description of the vehicle, but witnesses say it's a dark, possibly burgundy, SUV.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.


  • Michelle

    What ? The driver stopped and then kept going ? How does a person hit someone with their car and keep going ..really ?

  • Mark Stabler

    Add another murder to the growing number occuring in Winston Salem this year. There is no way that could be classified as an accident. Murder, plain and simple.

  • FaithC

    Thoughts out to the family.
    I guess we can assume that the person had a good reason for not stopping. Drunk? Drugs? Illegal? Suspended license? Outstanding warrant? Could be any one of these. Or they could just be a total POS.
    I hope they catch him/her and charge them with murder.

  • Mark Stabler

    There is NO good reason that any person would stop and then continue for three miles. The victim was still alive when he was found by police. It is hard to believe that he would have stayed under the car for three miles unless he was holding on…trying to survive. Had the driver waited and called for help that individual might have recovered.

  • JD

    Why would he crawl back into the street after neighbors had already safely pulled him to the sidewalk…. what???

  • money walks

    He probably kept going, thinking to himself—why not that is the same thing the boy from stokes county just got away with.. what he did was not different.. but due to the fact his family has money.. he walked away with only doing one month in jail, after hitting that woman and leaving her for dead……..

    • Shannon jessup

      It is Horrible to even think of…I hope the driver was unaware the person was still under the car. I would tend to believe they were. Even still, hit and run is a crime as well. We can only speculate the thoughts or intent of the driver. To pull into a gas station WITH the person still trapped makes me think they did not know they were still there. The path they took seems to suggest they were headed somewhere familiar…like home. Why not stop and unhook or untangle the person if you KNOW they are there? Why did the gentleman continue to “scoot” back into the path of oncoming traffic? Was there mental illness…intoxication…? Did the driver realize they hit a person or did they think it was an animal? (because usually people don’t lay in street) there are far more questions than answers at this point. Justice will prevail…but PRE-judging always fails. We pray for all those involved and especially the deceased’s family and friends.

  • t

    My question is why did the police not go after the suv, according to witnesses they just wanted to continue asking questions when they could have went straight for the SUV. Sorry to say but police never do their job right when really needed. A month ago my windows were busted out my car, I called the police and they came, what did they do! Tell me my drivers license were suspended and take them from me! Did not even try to find evidence for the broken window, when there was plainly a huge rock and the back of my car When we need them they are slow and this is unacceptable to me!

  • Kay Swing

    Every aspect of this act is sureal to me. The person crawling back into the path of oncomming traffic, the SUV continuing on as if nothing happened, the police asking questions instead of trying to catch the SUV. One act in its self is mindblowing, but to have all happen in one instance is a little more than upsetting.

  • Shajohnna hill

    This was my Dad I’m so hurt he went down there to clear his head n get a peace of mind away from Detroit n to visit his friend n this heartless girl god this to him my dad already had a horrible life he been through so much n to die like this he always been a fighter he survived three miles he would’ve been alive still had she just stop driving I kno my dad was fighting still Rest in heaven Dad I love u John Hill my new angel in the sky

    • lousie

      I’m very sorry about that but my sis didn’t c him n the street and if my sis no it was somebody n that street my sis would have stopped she not that kind of person and didn’t nobody come or say anything wen she was there wen it happen so I hope u can find n or heart to for give my sis it was not like she seen him or no one told her that she had someone under her car

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