Pieces of a headlight lens may be the key in determining the driver in an Aug. 24 hit-and-run accident that killed a Lonoke woman.
Lonoke County prosecuting attorney Chuck Graham last week filed a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury against Robert Lee Glover Jr., 50, of Carlisle in the death of Kimberly Perkins, 39, of Lonoke.
The accident occurred at about 9:40 p.m., Aug. 24, on U.S. Highway 70 near Cypress Creek Road, approximately five miles west of Lonoke.
According to the affidavit by Special Agent Jeff B. Whitlock, state police investigators were called to the scene of the accident at about 10 p.m. A female, identified as Perkins, was lying in the ditch on the south side of the highway; there were pieces of what appeared to be vehicle headlight lenses in the middle of the highway.
On Aug. 30, a Cause of Death report from the Arkansas State Crime Lab determined Perkins had died of multiple injuries; the manner of death was listed as homicide.
At the scene, Louis Mack, 62, said he and Perkins had run out of gas and she was attempting to flag down a ride to a gas station. Mack said Perkins was struck by a vehicle, which did not stop after striking her; he described the vehicle as appearing to be a dark colored Chevrolet Blazer or Suburban.
The affidavit stated that another driver, who had passed the area before the accident, was interviewed the next day.
The driver said he was traveling east on Highway 70 when he saw a woman who "appeared out of nowhere waving a white bag." The driver reported having to swerve to miss the woman, but did not stop. However, he did call the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office to report the woman standing in the middle of the road.
In the course of the investigation, officers learned from a parts supplier that the pieces of headlight lens were from a 1999 through 2002 GMC Denali. That information was published in a press release asking for help in finding the vehicle; it was also noted that there should be significant damage to the front and along the right side of the vehicle.
On Sept. 1, Glover contacted the state police and stated that he had struck a deer on U.S. Highway 70 at about the same time Perkins was struck. The affidavit later notes that Glover stated that on the evening of Aug. 24, he was driving a GMC Denali on U.S. Highway 70.
A trooper responding to Glover’s report found a gold, 2002 GMC Denali, with "damage to the vehicle was consistent to the type of damage that would have been caused by striking someone."
The damage included a broken passenger-side headlight assembly, damage to the hood and the passenger side. With Glover’s consent, the vehicle was transported to Arkansas State Police Headquarters where it was secured.
Later, investigators found that the headlight lens pieces found at the scene, "matched the remaining headlight in the vehicle."
In an interview on Sept. 2, Glover recalled that he had been at a River Market restaurant where he consumed about three glasses of wine. He said he left the restaurant at about 7:30 p.m.
Glover said he then stopped at the Bearskin Lake Road residence of David Garner, a longtime friend, and left at about 9:15 p.m. to go home at Carlisle.
Glover said he was in an area where there are fields on both sides of the road when he saw movement on the right side of his vehicle; he struck what he thought was a deer, but he did not stop.
Glover recalled driving to Lonoke where he stopped to wash his car, having driven through an area with large numbers of insects. He said he did not notice any blood on the vehicle but he did notice the damage, which appeared similar to damage from previously striking a deer.
Glover recalled reading the account of the hit-and-run in newspaper article, "on the Wednesday or Thursday after the crash," and that he had "flipped out" when he saw the vehicle description.
It was after reading the article that he contacted investigators, Glover stated. According to the responding investigator, damage to the vehicle was consistent with having struck someone. With Glover’s consent, the vehicle was taken to state police headquarters at Little Rock.
On Sept. 5, an investigator interviewed David Garner, whose residence Glover reported having visited on Aug. 24.
According to the affidavit account, Garner said Glover had left the house at about 9 p.m., that there had been no drinks, and that Glover did not appear to have been drinking when he arrived.
The affidavit states that Garner said Glover had called the following day and said that he had hit a deer and, "made a mess of his vehicle."
The affidavit notes that Garner stated, "[Garner] fully believes Glover had no idea he hit a person … Glover would never hit someone and keep going."
Glover posted a $2,500 bond.
Plea and Arraignment in Lonoke County Circuit Court, Division, Judge Barbara Elmore, is set for 9 a.m. Jan. 22.