Battle Creek man dead after hit-and-run on I-94 near Galesburg

Kalamazoo County

CHARLESTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Battle Creek man is dead following a hit-and-run on I-94 Tuesday evening.

According to the Michigan State Police, around 8 p.m., emergency crews were sent to I-94 near mile marker 87 for a hit-and-run.

Michigan State Police said that according to its preliminary investigation, a 71-year-old Battle Creek man had pulled a 2016 black Ford pickup to the right shoulder after experiencing vehicle troubles. When he was standing outside near the front of the truck, a second vehicle side-swiped the pickup, causing it to hit the man. He died at the scene.

On Wednesday, state police identified the victim as William Pinson.

An undated courtesy photo of William Pinson.

The driver of the second vehicle didn’t stop.

“You are under a legal obligation to stop and identify yourself and render aid to an accident victim and to provide your information and wait for the authorities to come and investigate,” MSP Lt. DuWayne Robinson said.

Pinson was remembered him for the kindness and honesty he had for everyone. Virginia Baker, who previously dated Pinson, said she thought the world of him. Even after their relationship ended, she says their friendship did not.

“He was real. When he told you something, he meant it. Like I said, if you needed help with anything, he would help you,” Baker said.

Fellow friend Rhonda Pouncy said Pinson, a father of eight and grandfather to many more, was on his way back home from Kalamazoo when he was killed. His loved ones keep wondering why.

“If (the driver) had stopped and stayed, maybe he would still be living. Maybe he would’ve survived this because he was strong enough to have survived. I believe that,” Pouncy said.

Troopers searched the area for the second vehicle. MSP doesn’t have a description of it, but says it is likely a taller vehicle like a pickup truck, van or semi-truck and that it should have a black paint transfer and damage to either the front or front passenger side.

“We are actively looking for this person. We are going to find you and you will be held accountable,” Robinson said.

Once found, the driver is expected to be charged with felony failure stop at the scene of an accident causing death.

Anyone with information about the crash or information that could lead to the identity of the second vehicle or its driver is asked to contact the MSP Paw Paw Post at 269.657.5551.

The eastbound interstate was closed for roughly 2.5 hours Tuesday night while traffic was diverted off the interstate at the Galesburg/35th Street exit.

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