Woman struck by vehicle in downtown Wilkes-Barre, driver takes off

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A horrific scene in Wilkes-Barre Wednesday afternoon.

A man who was trying to escape from police slammed his car into a woman who was crossing the street. He then took off leaving her laying in the road.

Police had the area blocked off for the investigation. They’re still on the hunt for the suspect and the victim is fighting for her life.

It happened Wednesday around 3 p.m. when police say they attempted to stop a vehicle in the Heights section of the city. They say the car took off and later struck a woman at the intersection of South Main and East Northampton Streets.

People who were in the area at the time say it was horrific. People watched in horror as first responders performed life-saving measures on a woman in the street. It happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

According to a post on the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department Facebook page, the suspected vehicle was a stolen vehicle that had fled a traffic stop in the area of South Empire Street earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Wilkes-Barre Police say they attempted to stop a vehicle in the Heights section of the city. They say the car was stolen and being operated illegally. Three people were inside and officers could smell marijuana.

As police were trying to identify the passenger of the vehicle, the passenger stole the car and took off. The suspect dropped off a female passenger near South Sherman and East Northampton Streets.

Then continued west and tried to go around a vehicle stopped at East Northampton and South Main Street. They ran a red light and hit a pedestrian.

“He hit the woman, and just proceeded up northampton, almost hit us head on, passed us out and that was it,” witness Richard Holodick said.

Holodick said it gave him chills. He’d never seen anything like it.

“You can see the blood is all over there, she was laying flat. The two police cars came up and obviously they stopped to help her first,” Holodick said.

Officers on the scene found the woman in serious condition. Witnesses say she seemed to be in her 30s. They could see that her leg was badly injured in the crash.

Police say the suspect abandoned the car near Wilkes University in the area of South and South River Street and took off running. When police caught up, he was gone.

Reports indicated he entered a building at South River and South Street and made several attempts to leave the area. The area and building were checked and he was not found.

Several people in the area said they heard the impact of the crash. We spoke to employees at nearby businesses who said it was a gruesome scene. The victim was taken to the hospital.

The suspect is described as a black male in late 20s or early 30s, between 6’3 and 6’4 and around 220 pounds. He was wearing a dark jacket with gold teeth and crème-colored pants.

The investigation is ongoing.

Eyewitness News will provide more information as it becomes available.

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