A motorist was drunk when his vehicle struck and seriously hurt a deaf pedestrian in a crosswalk early Friday, Cincinnati police said.
Melvin Smith, 29, of North College Hill is held in lieu of $20,000 bond at the Hamilton County jail on charges of aggravated vehicular assault and failure to stop after an accident.
Smith's 2002 Buick Century knocked the pedestrian, Timothy Green, some 20 feet on Virginia Avenue near Chase Avenue about 1 a.m., Cincinnati police said.
"Like it all was meant to be for me to be there," said Delores Benton, a witness.
Benton says she just happened to be out on her porch when she could not believe what she saw and heard.
"He hit the guy so hard it was like hearing another car crash, and then he went up in the air and landed back on the car then fell off the car," Benton said.
Benton says she and her fiance ran to help and that's when she noticed the victim, Green, who happens to be deaf. Benton learned sign language at a young age and used it to communicate with him.
"So I went up and started communicated with him, and he was telling me how he couldn't feel his legs. He was really twisted up. He had lashes on his face and the back of his head," Benton said.
He fled the scene, but officers stopped his vehicle a few blocks away on Colerain Avenue. The impact of the accident broke his windshield.
Green was conscious when police arrived, but he has serious injuries, police said.
He was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he is expected to recover.
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