A Pine Bluff man who was hit by a vehicle that left the scene on May 28 died Tuesday night at a Little Rock hospital.
Police Lt. Terry Hopson said during a court hearing Wednesday that Galen Taylor, 66, had died at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center, where he had been in critical condition since the accident.
Charges against the man who allegedly was driving the car, Daron Richardson, 36, were upgraded from leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death to negligent homicide. Richardson was arrested a few hours after the accident.
The death is the 13th homicide of the year in Jefferson County and the 10th inside the Pine Bluff city limits.
During a court hearing for Richardson on Wednesday, Hopson said the accident occurred on U.S. 79 (Camden Road) in the early morning hours.
At a previous court hearing on May 30, Hopson said Taylor was walking north in the southbound lane (right lane) when he was struck by a car driven by Richardson, who was northbound. After the vehicle struck Taylor, police said he went over the hood of the vehicle, hit the windshield, then fell back onto the roadway.
Richardson allegedly left the scene and drove to an apartment complex on Sulphur Springs Road where he left the car, then called the owner of the vehicle about an hour later to tell them where the vehicle was.
On Wednesday, Hopson said police located Richardson two and-a-half to three hours after the accident and a breath alcohol test was performed on him at that time. The results of that test were a .199, Hopson said. In Arkansas, a reading of .08 and above is considered legally intoxicated.
Hopson said police located a witness who had been with Richardson and received information that Richardson “had not been drinking after the accident.”
Hopson said Taylor, who was transferred from Jefferson Regional Medical Center to Little Rock, never regained consciousness and had been in a coma since the accident.
The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy but Hopson said Taylor “had no medical problems before he was run over.”
At the request of Deputy Prosecutor Maxie Kizer, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $50,000 cash-only bond for Richardson after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with negligent homicide.
According to records from the Arkansas Crime Information Center, Richardson is on currently on parole.
The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Richardson.