Police make arrest hit-and-run crash that killed SC woman and her dog

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:03 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WYFF) - Greenville Police announced an arrest in a deadly hit and run that killed a woman and her dog Saturday.

Veronica Dawn Tharp, 32, is charged with reckless homicide, hit and run with death and driving under suspension, police say.

Brittany Langley Lawson, 38, was running with her dog at approximately 7:15 a.m. near the Westminster Church on August Street in Greenville when the vehicle crossed the oncoming lanes and struck them both, Senior Deputy Coroner Kent Dill said.

The SUV was left at the scene but everyone inside it ran away, Dill said.

Greenville Police said the vehicle involved was stolen and a suspect in the theft was in custody. Then on Thursday, police said Tharp stole the vehicle shortly before the crash. They also charged her with possession of a stolen vehicle, police said.

Based on evidence from the scene, statements from witnesses and CCTV footage, investigators determined that Tharp was driving a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer when she crossed two lanes of oncoming traffic, mounted a sidewalk and struck the victim, who was walking.

After the collision, Tharp fled the scene on foot without rendering aid or notifying law enforcement, as required by law, officials said, adding that she was also found to be operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.

Craig Evans said he and his wife have lived in the same house near Augusta Street for nearly 19 years.

“It’s horrible but this will have been, I think, the fifth person killed at that intersection since we’ve lived here and they’ve got to change that,” he said. “Something has to be done.”

Jon McKnight, another homeowner in the area, agrees.

“I don’t know what the answer is to it, but just slow it down,” he said. “That would be one of the biggest things that would help, I think. Slow people down.”

Tharp was being held at the Greenville County Detention Center without bond.

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