Chronology of Sunday’s fatal hit-and-run

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Yellow spray paint symbols on Gov. Camacho Rd., as they appeared immediately after police investigators departed the crash scene on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. Photo: Jeff Marchesseault, PNC News.

Guam – Tonight police are on the hunt for a suspect in the island’s 23rd fatal crash of the year. On Sunday morning PNC arrived on the scene of a hit-and-run, auto-pedestrian incident just as police were wrapping up their preliminary investigation and reopening the roadway.

The Guam Fire Dept. had just hosed off a  section of northbound lane where a man had been struck about five hours before on Gov. Camacho Rd. in Tamuning, and the blood and water sparkling in the Sunday morning sun was haunting enough.

But nothing could prepare viral video viewers for the horrifying images of the victim that soon began circulating on social media.

In the video a bald man is sprawled on his back with his arms over his head and his legs spread eagle flat on the road at the scene of the crime. Dressed in low-cut dark socks, dark shoes, and a gray T-shirt, his black shorts had been violently torn where a deep, bloody gash appears on his inner thigh near his groin. There’s a wound to his abdomen, and what appears to be blood streaming onto the roadway from under his head and legs.

The driver? Nowhere to be found. And police were unable to provide even the most basic description of the vehicle at large.

On the scene of the incident, PNC asked Police Spokesman Sgt Paul Tapao, “Would you characterize this as a hit-and-run?”

“Yes, yes, this is definitely a hit-and-run crash,” Tapao said.

Formerly Camp Watkins Road, the Governor Camacho Road shortcut into inner Tamuning and Tumon is a well-paved, curvy accessway and a natural temptation to step on the gas.

With so much reckless driving and poor lighting in the news lately, one’s natural inclination might be to suspect low visibility and high speed as factors in this crash. But Sgt. Tapao cautions the community from jumping to conclusions before the investigation is complete.

“Sarge, it’s no secret that some of these streets are too dark at night. Do you think that was the case here?” PNC asked on Sunday.

“Well, when our officers were on scene, we noticed that all lights were working and that there was good visibility that was provided by the street lamps that were situated along the roadways,” Tapao said.

PNC then asked Tapao whether the driver could possibly have been going too fast.

“We’ve yet to determine speed, we’ve yet to determine the [manner] of the auto-pedestrian,” Tapao said.

Police are asking your help in solving this case. Here’s the chronology that the responding Tumon Precinct Command has pieced together so far:

• 3:14AM: TPC is notified that a male is walking on Gov. Camacho Rd. in Tamuning near Hotel Santa Fe

• 3:19AM: Authorities notified of auto-ped near Hotel Santa Fe

• 3:22AM: GFD medical personnel arrive on scene

• 3:26AM: GPD arrives on scene

Police confirm that the viral video circulating on social media does indeed show the hit-and-run victim and are asking whoever provided the footage to interview with GPD in order to assist the investigation and help track down a suspect.

Police encourage witnesses to call GPD’s Highway Patrol Division at 477-1169 or GPD dispatch at 472-8911. Crash investigators say the suspect’s vehicle may have sustained frontal damage in the fatal crash.

You can also submit information anonymously by calling the Guam Crime Stoppers 24-hour hotline at 477-HELP or by logging in at guam.crimestoppersweb.com. All calls are confidential.

Sgt. Tapao urges all holiday season celebrants to trust a sober, responsible driver to get them home, should they choose to drink while out and about.