Police: Driver in fatal hit-and-run cooperating with police

Avon pedestrian hit and killed (WISH Photo/ Jeff Wagner)

AVON, Ind. (WISH) – Police hope cell phone records can help them get to the bottom of a deadly hit and run accident.

It happened late last night along the 9700 block of Rockville Road (U.S. 36) in Avon.

Police say both the driver, 19-year-old Charles Parrett, and the victim, 36-year-old Robert Blankenship, were traveling in the eastbound lane.

Police aren’t sure why Blankenship was walking that close to traffic. But when you’re traveling on foot in the area, there aren’t many options.

“Once you hit somebody or something you can’t leave and then decide to come back when you want to,” said Bill Weems, Assistance Chief with the Avon Police Department.

But that’s exactly what happened around 10 p.m. Wednesday night. Police say a witness saw Blankenship laying on the pavement, not moving.

The witness only saw that the person was down, they didn’t see the actual accident happen,” he said.

Blankenship was transported to a nearby hospital where he died. Police began searching the scene for evidence when a few minutes later, a major turning point in the case pulled up next to them.

They say the driver, Charles Parrett, came back in the exact car he was driving, along with his mother, and turned himself in.

“It certainly makes the investigation easier. Had he not come back it have been a lot of man hours trying to figure out who and what and when,” said Weems.

Walking along Rockville Road might not be the safest choice but it’s technically not illegal. And with no sidewalks around, the only other choices are a low lying ditch filled with 6 inches of snow, or about 20 yards away from the road where we saw foot prints also deep in more snow.

“I wouldn’t walk on Rockville road,” said Terry French. “It’s too busy, all the time.”

Terry French lives in a neighborhood along the highway. Even though she chooses not to walk near the cars, she sees it happen.

“I’ve seen them many a time walk to work down here to the Meijer and different places and unfortunately we all don’t have vehicles.”

Why Blankenship was on the roadway remains a mystery. But police hope using tools to check Parrett’s cell phone will help them figure out why Blankenship was hit.

“A phone could let you know whether they may have been texting at the time of the accident. There may be, like if they give a statement and say ‘well I was over at this place at a certain time. Well the phone could either verify that or contradict that statement,” said Weems.

Police say he’s been cooperative with detectives. They hope to have the cell phone records downloaded by tomorrow.

Parrett’s toxicology results will take several weeks to come back. They’ll then work with the Hendricks County Prosecutors Office to determine if charges will be filed against him.

An autopsy for Blankenship has been schedule for Friday.

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