Police seek people seen in video to help with hit-and-run leads


As part of ongoing efforts to solve last month's fatal hit and run, the Sumter Police Department is trying to identify one individual and possibly others seen in surveillance footage at the scene.

Footage reviewed by Sumter police shows a long, dark-colored pickup truck, possibly a Dodge, stop beside a school bus on East Calhoun Street shortly after 70-year-old Jeanette Harrison was struck and killed in the roadway by an unknown driver on the morning of Oct. 25.

Moments later, an apparent white male in a red T-shirt and blue jeans can be seen standing in the roadway near where emergency medical personnel were attending to Harrison. The individual may or may not have gotten out of the pickup truck seen earlier, but it's unclear from the available footage.

Very blurry images of the person and the truck can be seen at www.theitem.com.

Police Chief Russell Roark said the individual seen in the street and possibly the driver of the pickup would have been in the area about 7:30 a.m. the morning of the collision and may have information that could help the police department in its investigation.

"We don't believe this person was involved in the accident," Roark said.

"He was just near the scene, and we want to talk to him."

Both the man in the street and the driver of the pickup - if not the same person - are asked to contact police about what they may have seen that morning, as well as anyone who may be able to identify the individual or vehicle seen by surveillance cameras.

Harrison was crossing Calhoun Street at about 7:30 a.m. Oct. 25, heading into Tuomey Regional Medical Center to visit a friend who was undergoing surgery, when she was struck and killed by a dark-colored, newer model, mid-sized automobile turning from Washington Street and then continuing on through the Main Street intersection. Harrison died at the scene.

Witnesses say the vehicle was driven by a white female with dark hair, approximately 20 to 30 years old. Police continue to seek any information on that individual.

Since shortly after the fatal collision, investigators have been reviewing surveillance footage from Tuomey and other cameras in the area to see if the driver of the vehicle that struck Harrison or any other drivers or pedestrians on Calhoun Street that morning can be identified. Sumter PD previously released surveillance footage of an apparent white Ford Mustang they believe passed through the area around the time of the collision and are also seeking to interview the driver of that car.

"We will continue to study that surveillance video and follow up on any other leads," Roark said.

A reward of up to $3,500 has been made available for any information in the case that leads to the female driver being identified, including $2,500 from Sumter Crime Stoppers and another $1,000 pledged by an area car dealership.

Anyone with information about the death of Jeanette Harrison is asked to call the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at (803) 436-2718 or 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372). Persons providing information can remain anonymous.

Reach Bristow Marchant at (803) 774-1272.