OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WOOD) - A former NBA player is under arrest for allegedly hitting a woman pedestrian along I-96 with his gray Jaguar and leaving the scene.
Duane Washington, the brother of current NBA star Derek Fisher, was drafted by the Washington Bullets but played for the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers.
Police said Washington briefly stopped at the scene but then left.
Detectives are crediting a Silent Observer tip for the arrest of Washington at a Gaines Township apartment complex. That is also where the gray Jaguar was found about 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The woman, Estella Vitins, is in fair condition at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call at 2 a.m. Tuesday about a crash in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 96 near Mile Maker 5 in Crockery Township. Rescue personnel arrived and found Vitins hurt near the road.
Credit card receipts spread across the kitchen table trace her journey Monday night.
"She bought ice cream at 6 o'clock in the afternoon at D&W on 10 Mile," said her husband of 50 years, Janis Vitins.
Later, she made a stop at a gas station in Muskegon just after midnight.
Then, for some reason, Estella Vitins parked her van on the side of I-96 near the Ottawa-Muskegon County line.
"No idea. No idea what so ever," her husband said. "All I can think of is she made a wrong turn and wound up in Muskegon."
Vitins was struck as she walked west in the eastbound lane. The driver of a gray Jaguar allegedly stopped, then fled the scene.
Washington was arrested in Gaines Township Tuesday morning.
"I'm confident that a crime was committed based upon the evidence that we found on the vehicle at this point," said Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. "Again, that all has to be brought together with statement from witnesses and the driver."
Janis Vitins can't drive and usually goes with his wife on errands.
She's had issues before, although not nearly as serious. One time she walked from Sparta a couple of miles to her home just east of town. She couldn't find where she parked her car.
This latest incident is more serious, and an example of what families dealing with dementia face.
"You don't want to take away people's freedom. We dont do that nowadays," he said.
Vitins told 24 Hour News 8 he'll talk more with doctors, possibly try some other medications that could help. But he knows any improvements will be temporary.
"It's hard to deal with. I'm supposed to be the strong one. It's hard. It keeps getting worse and worse. It's like living with a loaded gun."
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.
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