The driver formally charged with hit and run for allegedly striking and injury a man who was clearing snow from his driveway in Union Grove Jan. 17 told investigators he heard a thump but thought he struck an animal so he did not stop.

James McKnight

James O. McKnight, 43, was charged Jan. 22 with hit and run resulting in injury in Racine County Circuit Court.

Investigators, however, allege that McKnight, who was driving north on Colony Avenue, left the roadway, struck and sheared off a mailbox and a signpost, and then drove on the sidewalk for nearly 60 yards before veering back toward the curb and eventually striking the victim in the driveway at 3133 S. Colony Ave., Union Grove.

The tire tracks continued approximately another 20 yards along the parkway before fully returning to the road, the complaint contends.

The victim, a 27-year-old man, was taken to Ascension All Saints Hospital, Racine, for treatment. He suffered a head laceration that required stitches as well as minor injuries to his neck, back and leg, according to the complaint. He was treated at the hospital and released.

The victim and his snow thrower were struck, according to officials.

At the scene, investigators recovered debris from the crash, including a headlight assembly and a side-view mirror, and were able to match some of the parts to a 2015 GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado pickup truck, according to the complaint.

On Jan. 21, McKnight turned himself in after asking to talk to a deputy regarding the incident that occurred four days earlier involving a man who was struck while blowing snow in his driveway. McKnight told investigators he owns a black GMC Sierra.

“He confirmed he was in the area at the time of the collision and visibility was bad and he heard a thump,” the complaint alleges. “He thought he hit an animal and did not stop.”

McKnight made his initial appearance in court Jan. 22 where a court commissioner set cash bond at $3,000 and bound him over for trial. He was ordered not to consume or posses illegal drugs or alcohol and to undergo drug and alcohol screening in conjunction with his court appearances.

McKnight was further ordered to have no contact with the victim or a witness who reported the incident.

A preliminary hearing in the case was scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30.

For additional court news see the Jan. 31 edition of the Westine Report.