‘I knew he was gone’: Witness recounts deadly pedestrian crash in Colonial Heights

Local News

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — Police continue to investigate the death of a 65-year-old man who was hit and killed by a vehicle in front of Benny’s Tavern in Colonial Heights Saturday night.

8News spoke with a witness at the scene who called 911 and tried to help the victim seconds after the crash. Police identified the victim on Monday as Jack Dale Leabhart Jr., of Colonial Heights.

“When you see something like that it kind of plays over and over in your mind,” Riddle said. “I didn’t sleep last night.”

Ronald Riddle told 8News the impact was so severe that it sounded like two cars collided, rather than a person being struck.

“You could hear the tire marks skid,” he said. “Then I heard a big thump, crash like sound and it was so loud it sounded like two cars got into each other.”

Riddle said he tried to help. What he saw next was a man laying on the road and not breathing.

“By the time I walked the short distance over there, there was no chest movement,” Riddle said.

Police said the victim was crossing the 3600 block of Boulevard from the Carini’s Italian Pizza and Restuarant towards Benny’s Tavern around 9:30 p.m. last night when he was hit by 34-year-old Shane Erick Dent.

Man charged with DUI in Colonial Heights after striking, killing pedestrian

“I didn’t want to believe what I was actually seeing cause when I get up to the body the eyes were fixed and I knew he was gone,” Riddle said.

According to Riddle, Dent stayed on scene after the crash until police arrived.

Dent was then taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence. He was released on unsecured bond the following day.

Dent is scheduled to appear in court July 15.

Terrell Dabney, who works at Benny’s Tavern and knows Dent, says what happened was terrible for all involved.

“He’s not a bad guy at all, he just made the mistake of drinking and driving,” Dabney said. “That’s it.”

Dabney added the actions of Saturday were out of character for Dent and it could’ve happened to anyone.

“It’s not a well-lit area,” Dabney said. “We kind of need more lights around here cause if we don’t have more lights it can happen again…it can happen again.”

While Riddle agrees that the area could use more light, he is more focused on the victim and his family, saying “my heart goes out to the victim, his family, and his friends.”

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