Driver Charged With Striking Deputy’s Cruiser

A motorist has been charged with hit and run after striking a Johnston County sheriff’s deputies cruiser then fleeing from the scene.  The accident happened in the parking lot of Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield.

Around 9:00pm Monday, Smithfield Police said they were called by eyewitnesses to the hospital parking lot after they saw a silver Ford Taurus strike an unoccupied patrol car then flee from the scene.

Leah-Rose-Ruth-Landers-FIPolice said they later found the vehicle and the suspect on Pitchi Street.  Leah Rose-Ruth Landers, 23, of W. Anderson Street, Selma allegedly admitted to striking the patrol car after being given pain medication at the hospital.

According to a police report, Landers told officers she was told by the hospital she was okay to drive but claimed in fact she was not okay.  She said after striking the patrol car she panicked and fled from the scene.

Officer B.W. Smith said he located Landers 4 hours after the accident and due to the amount of time that had passed did not perform any sobriety tests.  A passenger in the car questioned by police reportedly confirmed Landers story.

Landers was charged Tuesday morning with hit and run and driving without a license.

Damage to the patrol car was placed at $1,000. Damage to the 1999 Ford Taurus she was driving was estimated at $600. There were no injuries.