Cancer Survivor Killed By Hit & Run Driver

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(Memphis) Memphis police have made an arrest after a driver ran over a man in Orange Mound and left him there to die.

Curteria Luellyn, 21, has been charged with Vehicular Homicide.

Friends and family are mourning the loss of Curtis Echols.

The 59-year-old was walking home Saturday night on Hugenot Street when he was hit and drug by a car.

Witnesses say the car ran off the road on Deadrick, took down a fence and then hit Echols as he was walking on the sidewalk on Hugenot.

Sunday, his friends and family held a candlelight vigil for the man they say was a fixture in the Orange Mound neighborhood.

Family called him 'Uncle Woody' and neighbors called him the 'Mayor of Hugenot' because he was known and loved so many.

“He was a friend he was a good person,” said his niece, Shalanda Echols. “Everybody in the neighborhood knew him.”

Curtis Echols lived on Hugenot Street his entire life and it’s also the street where he died.

His best friend and neighbor heard what happened before he saw it.

“A loud boom,” said Randy Norris. “They came through the fence and ended up on the sidewalk. They started the car up and took off.”

Norris says he saw four girls in a Chevy Malibu drive away as Curtis lay on the sidewalk.

His walking cane, shoes and feeding tube lay in the road.

Curtis was a cancer survivor.

“He fought through throat cancer, tongue cancer and prostate cancer only to be run over?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Only to be run over, taken out this way,” said his niece.

His niece Shalanda, Curtis’ two sons as well as friends and family from all over Orange Mound filled his street Sunday, hung memories on the tree that stood above him when he died.

“I hardly got any sleep,” said Norris. “He was my best friend. We did everything together. He wasn't supposed to go like that.”

“He went a way that he should not have went and I am really going to miss him,” said Shalanda.

They will miss their uncle, dad and friend who was so close to making it home.

As for the car that hit Echols, police say it belongs to a 25-year-old woman told investigators she had lent it to friends on Friday night.

When the car was returned it was damaged, so she called police

In addition to the driver being charged, passenger, 19-year-old Tomisha Thompson, was arrested for a pending warrant for Theft of Property under $500.


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