Neighbor talks about hit-and-run crash that killed Fayetteville man

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville police are looking for the driver who hit and killed a man Saturday evening, and then ran from the scene.

The deadly crash happened around 8:15 p.m. on Buttermere Drive.

The loud crash startled neighbor Lisa Dorn.

“When I came outside, there was a lot of dust in the air. I couldn’t really see anything to tell you the truth because it was like a fog,” said Dorn.

When the dust settled, she saw a car turned over on its side in the yard next door. A man who’d been hit was lying nearby. Dorn called 911.

“I was shaking like a leaf,” she said.

Dorn said the man was unconscious but breathing.

Police later identified him as 33-year-old Joel Camacho Ortiz. He died at the hospital.

“I got chills. Even talking about it right now, I have chills,” said Dorn.

Neighbors told CBS 17 they saw the BMW drive down Buttermere Drive at an excessive rate of speed before the crash.

Investigators put down marks along the street to show the path they think the car took before it ended up in a yard. The car knocked down a tree along the way.

Police said the driver ran away after the crash. Dorn said he left his passenger behind.

“She was quite hysterical, probably in shock. She really couldn’t talk, she was hyperventilating.”

Dorn said the young woman gave police the driver’s information.

Although Dorn doesn’t know him personally, she said she’s seen the car speed by before and even hollered for the driver to slow down.

“When the dust settled and I saw it was his car, I was furious,” she said.

Dorn said the victim’s family came by the scene Sunday morning.

“It just broke my heart to see their response. I mean both of them literally fell to the ground crying.”

They told her Ortiz was out walking when he was hit. He lived nearby.

Neighbors told CBS 17 speeding is a major issue in the area.

“I’ve always thought to myself, ‘One of these days,’ and sadly, it’s here and it’s terrible,” said Dorn. “My heart goes out to the family with a situation like this — too young, too tragic [and] could’ve been completely avoided.”

Police said they don’t have any official information to release about the suspect at this time.

If you know anything, call Fayetteville Police at 910-433-1807.

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