Pedestrian in critical condition, suspect in custody after Wednesday hit & run

Published: May. 17, 2017 at 6:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2017 at 10:37 PM CDT
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Arrest made at Gateway Apartments (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)
Arrest made at Gateway Apartments (Source: Caleb Holder, KCBD)
Police at Gateway Apartments (Source: KCBD Photo)
Police at Gateway Apartments (Source: KCBD Photo)
Source: Dani Alv, KCBD
Source: Dani Alv, KCBD

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A pedestrian remains in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle on Wednesday afternoon.

The pedestrian, 57-year-old Donald Carpenter, a customer, was struck in the parking lot of Racer Classic Car Wash.

Representatives from Racer tell us Carpenter was hit by a disgruntled former employee who was leaving the business after an argument with employees.

Police identified the driver as 20-year-old Dakota James Griffin. Police say Griffin has been arrested and faces charges of failure to stop and render aid.

Witnesses told police that a vehicle backed over the victim, shifted into drive, and ran over the victim again. Griffin then fled the scene.

The call came in about 1:15 p.m.

The incident happened at 4th and Frankford. The pickup involved, a 2007 Tan Dodge Durango, was found at the Gateway Apartments at 210 North Winston Ave.

The president of Racer Classic Car Wash, Andrew Zamora, gave us this statement on Wednesday afternoon:

An employee was fired today, left and came back to try and talk to a manager. He had broken company policy. When he left, a customer was walking across the parking lot and the fired employee backed up from his parking spot and ran over the customer. Probably realized what he did and he sped off. Fellow customer followed him and reported it to 911. He is in custody under felony charges of hit and run.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the customer. We regret that this happened on our property.

Investigators are off the scene.

Carpenter remains in critical condition at UMC.

Isaiah Ramos works nearby and happened to be getting a car wash at the time.

"We heard a commotion going on behind me, and I looked back and there was a gentleman on the floor. He was bleeding pretty bad," Ramos said.

Ramos says he and others at the car wash ran to help Carpenter until EMS arrived.

"We ran over there. He was trying to get up, kind of in and out. So we just, we were on the phone with EMS and they said to not move him and keep him responsive.  So we just kept yelling his name, yelling his name to get him to talk to us," Ramos said.

Ramos said while this was scary to witness, he is glad he was there to help.

"I ran inside and got some towels from the center they've got in there, and put towels on his head, just trying to help him out. I'd want the same for me if it was me," Ramos said.

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