Authorities make arrest in Panola hit and run, ID victim - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas


Authorities make arrest in Panola hit and run, ID victim

DeBranton Pope. (Source: Rusk County Jail) DeBranton Pope. (Source: Rusk County Jail)

A person was killed and now one person is in custody following a hit and run accident Thursday morning in the Holland Quarters Community.

The accident was reported shortly after 8 a.m. on FM 959 and County Road 220 near Beckville.

The Panola County Sheriff's Office says Christopher Johnson, of Bossier City, LA, was struck and killed by a pickup truck, which fled the scene of the accident.

Authorities were able to locate a suspect vehicle based on descriptions given by witnesses.

The driver, DeBranton Pope, of Carthage, admitted to the deputy that he struck a person and left the scene because he was scared.

Investigators seized Pope's vehicle and placed Pope under arrest.

According to witnesses on the scene, Johnson was attempting to cross the road when struck by the vehicle.

Initially, Carthage Police said the accident was not weather-related, however, a DPS Trooper on the scene says that weather played a role in the crash.

Johnson's body will be taken to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas for autopsy.

Pope is in custody at the Panola County Detention Center charged with failure to stop and render aid. That's a felony.

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