Myrtle Beach police investigate fatal pedestrian crash

troot@thesunnews.com vgrooms@thesunnews.comJuly 10, 2013 

— Myrtle Beach police continue to investigate a weekend hit-and-run crash where a 58-year-old man died after he was struck by a vehicle while he was walking in the city, according to authorities.

Johnny Bryan Patterson Jr., who authorities believed to be homeless and living in the Myrtle Beach area, was pronounced dead at 12:16 a.m. Monday while being treated in the emergency room at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, said Darris Fowler, Horry County deputy coroner.

An autopsy showed that Patterson died from multiple traumas due to being struck by the vehicle, Fowler said. The vehicle involved in the crash left the scene, which was along Robert Grissom Parkway at Pine Island Road. Police continue to look for the vehicle and its driver.

Patterson lived in Mandeville, La., before moving to Myrtle Beach a few years ago, according to his daughter, Tracy Patterson, who lives in Mandeville with her mother and two older brothers. She said she had not seen her father since about 2001, but her mother and one of her brothers saw him around 2005 before they lost contact with him, she said.

“He stayed another year or so and then just picked up and went to Myrtle Beach,” she said.

Patterson was crossing the parkway from the median, walking westbound, and stepped into the roadway in front of a vehicle, which was traveling southbound on the parkway in the left lane, according to a report from Myrtle Beach police. Patterson was struck on his right side and thrown across the roadway, coming to rest on the west side of the sidewalk in the grass.

The vehicle fled the scene going southbound on the parkway, the report said. There were skid marks in the roadway, beginning in the left lane and crossing part of the way into the right lane.

A witness was walking with Patterson and said he saw the vehicle as Patterson stepped into the road, the report said. The witness said he and Patterson had been drinking, and the investigating officer reported a smell of alcohol coming from the victim, but said it was not possible to test for blood alcohol because the victim was receiving medical treatment.

Patterson had apparent blunt force trauma to his right side and succumbed to injuries received in the collision, the report said.

Tracy Patterson said the family, including the victim’s father and stepmother, will have a private service Friday in Louisiana and also will have a memorial service for him July 17, with other family members in Nashville, Tenn. She said she already has been contacted by a woman from a soup kitchen in Myrtle Beach who said her father had been part of their ministry.

“She said everybody that knew him liked him,” Tracy Patterson said.

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Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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