Woman struck near uptown in March dies, driver faces additional charge

- A woman who was struck near uptown Charlotte in March has passed away, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The accused driver, 25-year-old Jeffery Jay Junior Laforce, is now facing a charge of involuntary manslaughter. 

The incident happened at 9:12 p.m. Saturday, March 4 on South Tryon Street near the intersection of Bland Street.

Related: Driver accused in hit-and-run turns himself in

Upon arrival, police found a woman identified as Jessica Nicole Morrell lying in the roadway, unresponsive. Medic transported Morrell to CMC-Main with life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses on scene said a silver Dodge Avenger was traveling north on South Tryon Street in the left lane and struck Morrell while she was crossing in the crosswalk. Witnesses also said the traffic signal for the Dodge’s direction of travel was red. 

The driver of the Dodge, later indented as Laforce, failed to stop at the scene of the crash and was last seen traveling northbound on South Tryon Street, away from the scene of the crash. 

The Real Time Crime Center was contacted for assistance. A License Plate Reader and DOT cameras in the area were able to confirm the make and model of the suspect vehicle as well as identify the vehicle’s North Carolina registration plate number.

At 8:21 a.m. Sunday, March 5, the registered owner of the suspect vehicle, Laforce, arrived at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office to turn himself in. CMPD officers responded and Laforce was transported voluntarily to CMPD Headquarters. 

Detectives obtained a search warrant which was executed at Laforce’s home where the Dodge Avenger was located and seized. The Dodge was towed to the Crime Scene bay and processed for evidence.

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