Police Identify Man, 78, Killed In Hit-And-Run Crash


Police were searching for a driver who struck and killed a 78-year-old man walking in southwest Columbus late Wednesday.

A vehicle traveling northbound along U.S. Route 62, north of Big Tree Drive, struck the pedestrian, identified as David Dayton, and fled around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Investigators were working to learn the make and model of the vehicle involved. Authorities believed the vehicle would have front-end damage, including the windshield.

Ashley Coburn said that she witnessed the aftermath of the crash.

“We saw something in the road, so when we did, we swerved around it,” Coburn said.

She said that she and her sister realized that it was a man.

“It was sad, you know, his last hour or so, and he was lying in the middle of the road,” Coburn said. “And nobody stopped.”

Word of Dayton’s death spread quickly at the independent living facility, where Dayton lived for the past decade.

“He was the most kindest man that I’ve ever met,” said Linda Stamper, Dayton’s neighbor. “He helped everyone in here.”

Stamper said that she was shocked to learn the driver, who struck Dayton, kept going.

“What kind of person … a heartless person would not stop,” Stamper said.

Dayton was transported to a hospital for medical attention, but later died.

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