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TROOPERS: Man hit by Kinston police car while crossing street

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - The Highway Patrol has released the names involved in a fatal crash in Kinston Wednesday night, including the pedestrian who was hit and the officer who was driving the police cruiser.

Officials say Lyndon Williams, 53, walked into the road and was struck by a police cruiser driven by Officer Treyston Johnson who was traveling south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Caswell Street around 8:30 p.m. The Highway Patrol says Williams was homeless.

Some people in the community said Williams is often seen in the area.

Troopers say Williams was crossing the street, while impact markings at the scene showed he was struck in the middle of the block.

Kinston resident Darius Howell said he saw what happened and that the officer seemed to drive past the speed limit before the crash.

“The cop flew past me, he was doing every bit of maybe 55-60 miles an hour,” Howell said. “I seen him hit something. When I heard the boom, and I seen him swerve, when I pulled up, it freaked me to the point where I couldn’t sleep last night.”

Howell said he was shocked to see body parts.

“Three feet in front of my van was a pair of legs. That was it, just legs. At one point, I thought it was a dog. That’s how messed up this man is.”

A family member who was at the scene on Thursday said they were waiting for official confirmation of the body.

Kinston police held a press conference Wednesday night and answered a question on if Johnson was responding to a call.

“There was a call in progress, we’re trying to determine if he had actually checked that route or not … we’re trying to confirm that one way or the other,” Major Jenee Spencer said.

Johnson was taken to UNC Lenoir Health Care for non-life threatening injuries.

Johnson is on administrative leave during the investigation.

The City of Kinston and the Kinston Police Department on Thursday did not release comments on the crash, citing the investigation.

Sgt. Christopher Knox said the final report will also include the physical condition of all the people involved and hope to have that report finalized in the coming weeks.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT STORY

An investigation is underway after a marked Kinston Police Department cruiser was involved in a collision with a pedestrian who died.

The accident happened Wednesday evening around 8:24 p.m. on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Caswell and Gordon Streets. The pedestrian and police officer have yet to be identified.

In a press conference Wednesday night, officials say they are still trying to determine what exactly happened and whether the officer was responding to a call at the time of the crash. The officer was taken to the hospital. Police say typically in situations like this, an officer would be placed on administrative leave.

The state Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

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