Man charged after hit-and-run leaves pedestrian seriously hurt

New stop signs have been installed on Pulaski Street a short distance from the scene of a hit-and-run Saturday morning.

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) –  Police say a man has been charged after he allegedly hit a pedestrian with his car near the intersection of Pulaski and Manchester Streets in West Warwick early Saturday morning.

Police say the victim, a West Warwick man in his 40’s, was seriously hurt and taken to Kent County Hospital for treatment. His current condition is unknown.

Bill Hume was out running errands when he stumbled upon the scene around 4:30 Saturday morning. He tells Eyewitness News the victim’s friends flagged him down.

“I was just trying to help keep the people calm,” said Hume. “It was pretty gruesome.”

Hume said the victim was lying bloodied in the street, badly injured. According to Hume, the victim’s friends said the victim had stepped off the curb when he was struck. Police say witnesses told them the victim was hit by a black car, possibly a Nissan; that driver never stopped.

“It’s a complete disregard for human life,” said Hume. “To leave somebody, possibly dead in the street…I don’t see how anybody could do it.”

Police said they discovered a car with passenger-side damage and a broken windshield a short distance away from the scene. They took the driver, a West Warwick man in his 20’s, into custody. He now faces a felony charge of duty to stop in an accident resulting in personal injury or death, as well as multiple traffic violations.

Hume said Pulaski Street is notorious for speeding, and the town recently installed new stop signs.

“People speed up and down the road all the time,” said Hume. “Police sit out there and do the best they can to monitor traffic but they can’t be there 24-7 to make sure people don’t speed down the road.”

Police said it’s unclear if alcohol played a role in the crash. The suspect appeared before a bail commissioner Saturday morning and was released on $5,000 surety bail. He is expected to be arraigned in court on August 23.