Hit-And-Run Victim Dies; Suspect Out Of Jail

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The victim in a Fayetteville hit-and-run car crash from earlier this month died Friday, almost two weeks after the collision.

Gary Todd O’Neal, 52, died at 12:15 a.m. at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo., according to a family member. O’Neal was taken by helicopter to the hospital July 1 after being struck by a car police say was driven by Maurice Deshaun Evans.

Evans, 22, was arrested two days after the crash on Martin Luther King Boulevard, following a police investigation. He faced a charge of felony leaving the scene of an injury accident and was released from the Washington County Detention Center on July 6, on $10,000 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Evans may face further charges, but is free on bond.

O’Neal suffered brain and spinal injuries from the crash, according to police. He had a large wound on the back of his head after the alleged hit-and-run collision.

O’Neal may be from Oklahoma, but has spent time in Missouri and Arkansas, Sgt. Craig Stout said. Authorities believe the man was homeless.

Police received a tip the day after the crash about a vehicle matching the description the department had sent out on the car. Officers responded to the location on West End Avenue and noticed damage to the front of the car, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Detention Center. The Ford Taurus was registered to Evans.

Evans consented a search of his vehicle and gave the police an alibi for the time of the hit-and-run. Detectives were able to disprove the alibi and arrested Evans a day later, the preliminary report states.

“Evans said he didn’t stop because he knew he would go to jail for killing a man,” the reporting officer states.

O’Neil was lying in the street when emergency crews arrived.

The department’s criminal investigation unit canvassed area neighborhoods looking for the driver of the car who hit the man

Little physical evidence was left at the site of the accident from the car, making it difficult for investigators to track down the suspect.

“After the accident happened we called out our accident reconstructionists and our criminal investigation unit,” Stout said. “We started doing a canvass of surrounding neighborhoods looking for the vehicle, checking a lot of the businesses that are around.”

Evans Hit And Run Mugshot.jpg