Driver accused in hit-and-run turns himself in to CMPD

The driver accused in a hit-and-run near uptown Charlotte that left a pedestrian seriously injured Saturday has turned themselves in to police.

Jeffery Jay Junior Laforce was arrested on Sunday and charged with felony hit-and-run.

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

Related: Suspect on the loose who struck pedestrian in northeast Charlotte

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.

Jessica Morrell remains hospitalized at CMC-Main and is listed in critical condition.

The crash is under investigation to determine if alcohol/drug use and excessive speed were contributing factors.  

Any person who witnessed this crash or has information about this case is asked to call Officer Oberer at 704-432-2169. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.