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After a non-stop investigation since last night, the Danville Police Department has arrested 44-year-old Danville resident Willie Junior Coles in reference the fatal hit and run accident of a pedestrian on West Main Street near Lady Astor Street. As a result of the investigation so far, Willie Junior Coles is being held in the Danville City Jail under no bond, charged with:
VA Code 46.2-894: While having been the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident in which a person was killed, fail to immediately stop as close to the accident as possible without obstructing traffic (Felony hit and run)
VA Code 18.2-308.2: Knowingly and intentionally possess a firearm by a violent convicted felon
With the publics help, Danville Police Department investigators have completed multiple interviews, located the suspect vehicle, obtained and served multiple search warrants, reviewed many video sources with the publics help, and ultimately arrested the suspected driver, Willie Junior Coles.
Unfortunately, although the suspect has been located, the next-of-kin for the 74-year old victim has still not been located, so we will continue to withhold his name at this time.
Again, thank you to the community who provided assistance and our media partners for sharing the request for help since last night! This investigation will continue while locating the family of the victim in this tragedy.
Previous Update 2
The Danville Police Department has located what they believe to be the suspect vehicle from last nights fatal hit and run accident on West Main Street. The vehicle was recovered in Danville after the police department received a call from a citizen. The investigation is still very active, but we wanted the public to know the vehicle has been identified and impounded by police for crime scene processing. The police department would still ask anyone with video surveillance of the streets around West Main Street and Lady Astor Street to please contact them at the any available platform or number below. The police department would like to say "thank you!" to the community members who have shared the media and social media releases to help locate video surveillance, provided video, and those who have called to help this investigation since last night.
Previous Update 1
As an update to last nights release, investigators have worked throughout the night and were able to positively identify the victim of last nights hit and run accident as a 74-year-old, male, Danville resident. The victims identity will be withheld at this time as attempts are being made to locate the next of kin for first notification.
At app. 9:31 PM last night, the Danville Police Department responded to West Main Street near the intersection of Lady Astor Street for a fatal hit and run accident involving a pedestrian. The victim was transported by EMS but pronounced dead at the SOVAH Danville Medical Center.
The Danville Police Department is seeking the publics assistance in this case as they are trying to quickly locate video camera surveillance from the West Main Street and neighboring areas near Lady Astor Street for the timeframe just before the 911 call at 9:31 PM tonight. Anyone who may have seen or heard the accident is also asked to please contact the police department. If you were traveling in the West Main Street at Lady Astor Street just before 9:31 PM and feel that you may have struck something but did not stop for whatever reason, we ask that you please reach out to the police department. If you know the identity of the suspect or suspect vehicle please call 911 or any of the above numbers as soon as possible.
Anyone with surveillance cameras or knowledge of the location of cameras please contact the police department as soon as possible at the non-emergency dispatch line at 434-799-5111, the patrol office at 434-799-6510, investigations at 434-799-6508, contacting Crime Stoppers at 434-793-0000, through social media accounts and messenger on Facebook, or use of the crime tips app CARE at https://www.p3tips.com/tipform.aspx?ID=818#. Information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case will be eligible for a cash reward.