UPDATE | Officers looking for potential witness to fatal hit and run accident in Aiken

Published: Aug. 3, 2018 at 4:30 AM EDT
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Thursday, August 9, 2018

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken Department of Public Safety officers say they are looking for a potential witness to a fatal hit and run on York Street.

Officers say they believe the man in the photo was near the hit and run pedestrian accident on York Street that took the life of 33-year-old Christopher Holmes on August 3.

They say officers are continuing to review surveillance footage from the area in an attempt to determine the type of vehicle involved.

It is still believed the vehicle involved is a dark colored SUV, and should have sustained front end damage.

Anyone with information should contact law enforcement.

Friday, August 3, 2018

(News 12 First at 5 / News 12 at 6 O’Clock / NBC 26 at 7)

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – Police are searching for a dark-colored SUV they say struck and killed 33-year-old Christopher Holmes early Friday morning. It happened near the Waffle House on York Street, just across from the Crosland Park community.

Police say the situation is still very fresh, but they're hoping surveillance footage from nearby businesses can break this open.

Neighbors and friends say he was on his way to Waffle House after a night out. None of them say they were there when he was hit though, and by the time police arrived on scene, Holmes was dead.

That area near Aldrich Street and Crosland Park is pretty well known for having a lot of foot traffic, due to there being two convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and multiple gas stations across the street.

Neighbors we spoke with say speeding cars are a big problem for pedestrians. James Oakman knew Holmes, and saw him Thursday night.

“I tapped on the horn and he threw his hand up and kept walking,” said Oakman about the night before, driving in the area. “Whoever hit him should have at least stopped and checked on him.”

Investigators say that particular intersection is one of Aiken's 10 busiest, and it sees its fair share of accidents.

Several officers and investigators are out today gathering surveillance footage, interviewing people. And we're going to take that back and try to identify a suspect vehicle and where that damage is...so we can get that out to authorities and to then entire community," explained Detective Jeremy Hembree, with the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

Right now Hembree says his fellow officers are increasing patrols in this area and they’re trying to track down surveillance footage of Thursday night’s accident. They also have a reconstruction team working to piece together the scene.

Oakman says the suspect needs to come forward for the sake of those who cared for Holmes.

“His family is hurting. His son is hurt. His aunt is hurt. His dad is hurting.”

Detective Hembree says they just need a piece or two of evidence to really break the case open.

"We're interviewing witnesses that were out here on scene at the time. Most all these businesses are open 24 hours."

Oakman tells News 12 that people in the area won’t rest until this sad mystery has been solved.

"If you did it, or if you know any information, you should really turn yourself in."

Officers believe Holmes was struck by a dark-colored SUV, and that it could have been anyone passing through.

If you have any information you are asked to contact Aiken Public Safety or CrimeStoppers.

11:20 a.m.

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton has released the identity of a man killed in an early morning hit-and-run in Aiken.

33-year-old Christopher Holmes was hit and killed at around 2:33 a.m. near the 1100 block of York Street.

Carlton says a dark-colored SUV hit Holmes when he was trying to cross the street. Carlton said Holmes was wearing dark clothing.

An autopsy s scheduled for Friday in Newberry, South Carolina.

9:10 a.m.

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken Department of Public Safety officers say Friday morning's fatal hit and run pedestrian accident is the first traffic fatality of the year in the city limits.

Officers are currently interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence to determine a possible suspect vehicle.

They say they responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian collision on York Street at 2:35 am.

Officers say the pedestrian sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The vehicle left the scene prior to their arrival.

The Aiken Department of Public Safety Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating the collision, according to officers.

Anyone with information in regards to collision is asked to contact Crimestoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372). Callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.

4:30 a.m.

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken Department of Public Safety officers are investigating a fatal hit and run pedestrian accident on York Street.

Officials on say say the accident happened around 2:35 am at the intersection of York Street and Rutland Drive.

Investigators are currently gathering information for a suspect vehicle.

We have a crew on scene working to get more information.