No charges yet have been filed in a vehicle crash last Saturday that killed one pedestrian and hospitalized another person, and the Aiken Department of Public Safety is continuing its investigation.
Aiken resident Lukisha Thomas, 29, and a man, Ray Charles Wooden Jr., were struck while walking south on the sidewalk in the 800 block of York Street about 2 p.m. Saturday, police have said. They were struck by a 2006 Jeep driven by Aiken attorney Thomas G. Woodruff Jr.
Thomas and Wooden were transported by ambulance to Georgia Regents Medical Center, where Thomas died during surgery, authorities said. Thomas’ 2-year-old son was with her when the incident happened, and was taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers where he was examined and released.
No charges have been filed in the incident.
An accident reconstruction team with Aiken Public Safety was on the scene immediately after the incident and again on Tuesday. They will be compiling a report that will be taken to the Solicitor’s Office to determine what charges, if any, are filed.
“We’re waiting on some results to come back,” said Lt. Karl Odenthal. “Once we get those back, the investigation will be complete and we’ll be able to take our action from there.”
The team said it would take two to three weeks from the day of the accident to complete the report, Odenthal said.
“Unless you have enough right on the scene to put somebody in jail, it’s not that unusual for someone to not be arrested,” he said. “It’s one thing to be arrested; it’s another thing to be incarcerated.”
According to a police report, Woodruff told officers “something out of the driver side of his vehicle caught his attention and distracted him.” Woodruff heard a “loud bump” and realized he had struck the pedestrians, the report stated.
The victims were found lying underneath a parked rental truck, according to the report.
“We ask for continued patience,” Odenthal said. “There’s a lot of rumors going around out there, many of them are not founded at all. We cannot release the information until we know what we’re saying is 100 percent accurate.
“We’re doing our best with it,” he continued. “Unfortunately, some of it just takes time.”
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.