Cops and Courts

Police looking for information on River Road hit and run

West Virginia State Police are investigating a hit and run incident that occurred between 2-3 p.m. Nov. 8 on River Road in Morgantown, the impact of which left a man severely injured.

Ronnie Long said he had his vehicle pulled off to the side of River Road, about 1.5 miles from U.S.19,  to briefly speak with his cousin who lives there.  As they were talking, his cousin saw something leaking from Long’s vehicle, so Long exited the car to take a look, leaving his driver’s side door open.

While Long was checking the leak, his cousin alerted him to a vehicle coming down the road at a fast pace.

“When I seen how fast she was coming, I knew I wasn’t going to make it back in the car,” Long said.  “So I tried to run around the car and get away from her – and that’s when she hit me.”

Long said he was sure the driver – who he believes to be a female with dark hair – did not slow down or even try to stop. No skid marks were left on the road.  

“I don’t know what she was doing – I mean, it just happened so fast,” he said. “I tried to get on the backside of the car – it didn’t work.”

Long suffered several injuries including a lacerated spleen, a large gash that is over an inch wide running from his chest to his stomach, a large gash on his elbow, a shoulder injury and many other chunks of skin missing along with cuts and bruises.

“I didn’t want her to run me over, so when I knew I was going to get hit I kind of like jumped a little bit and landed on the hood so I didn’t go under the car,” he said. “She threw me about 20-30 feet through the air.” 

Long spent several days in the hospital after the accident and will have to do physical therapy a few times a week as he recovers.

His vehicle was also hit in the process – the driver’s side door that was left open ended up folded back toward the front fender and glass was broken in several places.

As of Monday, West Virginia State Trooper Smith, who is investigating the incident, said there is unfortunately not a whole lot of information available to help narrow down a suspect.

Several parts of the driver’s vehicle, including a side mirror cover, were left at the scene and Smith said he was able to run part numbers on some of the debris.

Smith said results from the parts came back for a late 2000’s model Nissan Sentra, although that doesn’t mean that is 100% the model of the vehicle.  What is known for sure is the vehicle was a red sedan.

A neighbor in the area caught video of a red sedan driving on the road in the direction of the accident a few minutes before it occurred. Long believes it to be the vehicle in question, but it cannot be confirmed.

Smith said if any area residents have information on the incident from that day or are aware of someone with recent front end damage to a red sedan, they can call the West Virginia State Police Morgantown Detachment at 304-285-3200. 

Long and his wife Kathy are also offering a $500 reward for any information that leads to finding the vehicle and a subsequent arrest.