Garretson Woman Charged with Hit and Run, Pedestrian Hit Twice
A Garretson woman has been arrested and charged after a lengthy investigation regarding a hit and run in Corson.
Rita Michelle Dewitte, 43, allegedly backed up her pickup at a high rate of speed, striking a Brandon couple walking to their vehicle. The pickup hit Jefferey Schomion, while running over Linda Parks.
According to Minnehaha County authorities, a witness saw a white Dodge Ram pickup being placed in reverse at a high rate of speed, hitting the couple. The pickup reportedly paused for a moment and sped off north on Highway 11, striking Parks a second time.
The witness and her husband called 911 and waved traffic away from Parks, who was laying in the middle of Highway 11. While risking their own safety, the witness and partner proceeded to stop oncoming vehicles including a semi-truck. They also took off their own coats to cover Parks. Video footage confirmed the witness report, logging the impact time on February 14, at 10:44 PM.
A few hours later, the sheriff's department discovered an abandoned pickup matching the description of the suspect's vehicle, including a broken taillight. The vehicle was traced to DeWitte, who was taken into custody for questioning.
Further investigations revealed matching debris left at the scene consistent to Dewitte's vehicle. Cell phone records obtained by a warrant disclosed text messages between DeWitte and a passenger, who admitted to drinking alcohol on the night of the accident.
Schomion received non-life threatening injuries. Parks was hospitalized for three weeks, with a broken pelvis, other injuries and is relying on a wheelchair during the remainder of her recovery at home.
A benefit for Parks to cover medical and related expenses is scheduled for Saturday (April 27) at the Brandon VFW and Double D, adjacent businesses on Main Street in Brandon.