A tip from a Pelion police officer apparently gave the South Carolina Highway Patrol the lucky break they needed to make an arrest in a Lexington County hit-and-run case last week.
Romeo Romero Jr. surrendered to the SC Highway Patrol Sunday morning at the Lexington County Detention Center. He is charged with leaving the scene of a collision involving a death. More charges may be filed.
When Irma Hudson, 59, stepped out of her truck Wednesday night to pick up some trash that had flown out of the vehicle’s cargo area, she was struck and killed by a pickup truck on SC 302 a few miles west of Pelion. A child was in her truck at the time but not physically injured.
Within minutes, a Pelion police officer stopped Romero for an unrelated traffic violation, according to the Highway Patrol. The Pelion officer wrote a ticket, then, having no reason to detain him, let Romero go.
Within an hour, that officer heard over the radio about the hit-and-run and drove out to the death scene. He told troopers at the site that he may have just ticketed a person of interest.
Now armed with detailed information about the driver and his vehicle – a 12-year-old GMC pickup with Texas plates, troopers “quickly – without a matter of hours – were able to put out a description of the vehicle and the name of the driver we wanted to talk to,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Bryan McDougald said.
“The traffic stop was apparently very instrumental in quickly determining the type of vehicle and making the arrest,” McDougald said. “We are very grateful to Pelion.”