PDT Staff Writer
Lt. Karla Taulbee, commander of the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says her staff is busy following up on leads they hope will eventually lead to the arrest of the driver of the dark-colored SUV that struck a 14-year-old boy June 19 on Shela Boulevard near Preston Road.
According to police, Charlie Howell of High Street, Portsmouth, walked onto Shela Boulevard about 10:19 p.m. to retrieve a dog that had been struck by a vehicle. He was then struck by a black SUV traveling northwest on Shela Boulevard. Taulbee said the SUV fled the scene, and now she wants to find the operator of that vehicle.
“Anybody who sees an SUV with damage, or they heard somebody talking about something, we respond. We go to every single call we get. I think we’ve been to eight so far. We’ve been to houses. We’ve talked to people,” Taulbee said.
Taulbee said people need to look for a different type of damage.
“The windshield will not be damaged. The child did not hit the windshield, so it’s not going to be a vehicle with windshield damage,” Taulbee said. “It’s going to be one with damage to a front bumper, grill, or the driver’s side of the front of the vehicle.”
Taulbee said body shops should also look for a dark SUV that is brought in for repair.
“If someone comes in and says they hit a deer, and they don’t find deer hair on the car, we want them to please call us,” Taulbee said. “It’s not going to be metal-on-metal damage. The damage is going to be a little bit different than when you strike a car.”
Taulbee said everyone they have interviewed has been cooperative, as investigators attempt to find the person who left the scene of the accident.
Howell suffered multiple injuries and was flown to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va. Charles Shoemaker, a spokesman for Cabell Huntington, said Monday that Howell had been released.
Taulbee said anyone with information about the incident should call the Portsmouth Post of the OSHP at 740-354-2888. She said all those who report information will be kept anonymous.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.