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Searcy man released after wrongly being charged in hit-and-run | Crime

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Searcy man released after wrongly being charged in hit-and-run
Searcy man released after wrongly being charged in hit-and-run

Little Rock Police on Monday said a Searcy man was wrongly charged in a hit-and-run accident that occurred Jan. 7 on Kavanaugh Boulevard.

Police responded to a hit-and-run about 9:30 a.m., when 61-year-old Lois Sandusky was hit in the crosswalk on Beechwood Street at Kavanaugh Boulevard.

The accident report says a white Ford 150 pickup turned right onto Beechwood, hit Sandusky and ran over her with the left front tire. The report states the driver never stopped and ran over Sandusky a second time with the rear left tire.

Steven Kissinger, 33, of Searcy, was identified as a suspect and arrested Jan. 10.

Police spokesman Sgt. Cassandra Davis said in an e-mail Monday that "investigators determined that although Mr. Kissinger’s truck was similar in color and style to the suspect vehicle, it was not the vehicle involved in the hit and run."

Davis continued in the e-mail that "investigators also determined that although Mr. Kissinger resembled the suspect he was not the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian."

Davis said witnesses advised police that the truck had military tags, which led to a connection with Kissinger. However, surveillance video obtained by police disputed what witnesses described, Davis said. Further investigation into the license plate revealed the truck had a specialized plate, but did not have military tags as witnesses stated.

Davis said further investigation led to a warrant being issued Friday for 42-year-old Claude Smith, of Little Rock.

Smith turned himself into Judge Alice Lightle's court at 10 a.m. Monday, Davis said. He is charged with felony hit-and-run, careless and prohibited driving, failure to yield to pedestrian in a crosswalk, driving on a suspended driver's license, expired vehicle registration and no insurance.