A man was hit and killed on a downtown Columbia street by a vehicle that was driven away from the scene early Saturday morning.
Columbia police are searching for the driver of the vehicle that fatally struck a 54-year-old man in the 1400 block of Barnwell Street, between Hampton and Washington streets, after midnight Saturday. The Columbia Urban League is located on that block, and the Township Auditorium sits about two blocks away.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the victim as John Hope Cantey of Allen Benedict Court. An autopsy indicated Cantey died of blunt force trauma to the head and chest.
Police found Cantey lying in the roadway with severe injuries and called for Emergency Medical Services to take him to the hospital. The victim was pronounced dead a short time later, police say.
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Police believe the vehicle was driving south on Barnwell and that the victim was illegally in the roadway.
Police are trying to determing whether any surveillance cameras captured the hit-and-run on video.
Anyone with information about the incident can call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or text tips to 274637, marking the beginning of the message with “TIPSC.”
Tipsters could be rewarded up to $1,000 cash for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.