Update: Arrest made in fatal hit-and-run in Aiken

By: Patrick Price Email
By: Patrick Price Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013

AIKEN, SC (WRDW) - An arrest has been made in the fatal hit-and-run case in Aiken, South Carolina Highway Patrol confirms.

Michael Cornelius, 23, was arrested Saturday afternoon and charged with failure of duties of driver involved in hit-and-run plus a breach of trust under $2,000 or less bench warrant.

"She was hit and discarded like a hit dog, a piece of rag," said Frank Smalls, the father of Shawnt'a Smalls.

Those are thoughts, he can't get out of his head all from a night gone terribly wrong.

"The person that hit her, took my baby," he said.

Smalls' daughter Shawnt'a was walking down Whiskey Road from work around 11:30 Friday night.

"I was having a conversation, while she was walking," said Terria Smalls, the sister of Shawnt'a.

Terria was en route to pick her up.

"I was on my way, I was dropping somebody off and going to her," she said.

Minutes later, Highway Patrol says she was hit by a car, left to die on the side of the road.

"Just something told me to call my sister," said Terria Smalls.

That's when she knew she'd lost her little sister.

"You know I never thought in a million years that's what was happening," she said.

Frank Smalls told News 12, his daughter, Shawnt'a was always making people smile.

"She was willing to help anyone that needed help," he said.

But last night when she needed help the most, the driver who hit her was no where to be found.

"Whoever hit my daughter, would you please come forward," he said.

It's his plea for answers. After he and his daughter's loss, it won't replace the emptiness they'll feel this holiday or for the birthday Frank Smalls will never forget.

"She had just told me, she said, "daddy, your birthday is Tuesday, she said we're going to go out," Frank Smalls said to News 12's Patrick Price

Instead all they'll have to remember is her final moments.

"Seeing her, laying there, not moving, not nothing," said Terria.

Highway Patrol identified the possible car as a 1991-1996 Impala, or Caprice with noticeable damage to the left front and left front center of the car.


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