Hit and run suspect indicted

Man on motor scooter injured in October 2013 collision
Mar. 21, 2014 @ 08:26 AM

Five months after a man riding a motorcycle on Wilkesboro Boulevard was nearly killed by driver who hit him from behind and sped away, a Caldwell County grand jury indicted Lenoir woman on a felony charge of hit and run.

Police say that Jennifer Lynne Grace of Olde Creek Court was identified as the driver in a Crimestoppers tip received on Nov. 19.

On the night of Oct. 16, Robert Freeman Wilson, 58, of Greystone Place in Hudson was riding home on his motorcycle about 11 p.m. when a car going faster than he was hit his motorcyle from behind near the State Employees Credit Union. Wilson was thrown into the road, and witnesses told police that the car continued without slowing down. Wilson was flown to Carolinas Medical Center with a partially collapsed lung, seven cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and numerous broken bones in his hands.

Police had little to go on, but among the debris in the road was a piece of a car bumper and the logo from the front grill of a Hyundai. Police were able to identify the hit-and-run vehicle as a late-model Hyundai Elantra.

The tip to Crimestoppers said a 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT was in Grace's garage. Police obtained a search warrant and found the car, covered by a tarp, had significant damage to the front bumper and was missing its grill logo. Inside the passenger area, records said, they found five pieces of a broken tail light that they determined were from Wilson's motorcycle.

Wilson continues his slow, painful recovery from home. He recently had surgery to graft a piece of bone from his leg to his collarbone, which is being held together by plates and screws. He struggles to sleep at night because of the pain.

"I just deal with this," Wilson said. "It's hard not being able to eat with my dominant hand because of my injuries."

Grace had not been arrested by late Thursday afternoon, but police said they had contacted her lawyer to have her turn herself in.