The search is over for the missing driver in a pre-Thanksgiving hit-and-run incident that injured two people.
Tuesday afternoon, authorities found Derek Matthew Poss hiding in a closet at the home of his girlfriend, the same woman who was injured while riding with him in the Nov. 25 wreck.
Poss, 31, was arrested without incident by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. He faces a felony hit and run charge as well as failure to maintain lane, driving on a suspended license, following too close, reckless driving and child abandonment.
Poss was at Cynthia Puckett’s home on Glen Wallace Drive in south Forsyth, where he is thought to have been hiding since the wreck. Puckett, 23, faces a felony charge of hindering apprehension of a fugitive.
Sgt. Gary Clark, of the sheriff’s warrants unit, said authorities went to Puckett’s house Tuesday for more interviews.
Clark went into Puckett’s bedroom to answer a phone call from her mother and that’s when he spotted Poss.
“As I was looking around the room talking to her mom, I saw clothes falling in the closet,” Clark said. “And I saw a hip and blue jeans and a belt …You can only assume it wasn’t a cat or a dog.”
The sheriff's office was familiar with Poss, who had been arrested 20 times between 1999 to 2005 on various charges ranging from drug trafficking and methamphetamine possession to aggravated assault to possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
He was last in the Forsyth County Detention Center on Aug. 16, 2005.
The wreck occurred about 6:15 p.m. Nov. 25 on Bethelview Road near Polo Fields Parkway.
Authorities say Poss was the driver of the 2006 Chevrolet 1500 flatbed truck that struck a 2001 Ford Expedition, driven by 38-year-old Angel Corona of Norcross, and then landed against a tree.
The driver ran away before authorities arrived.
Puckett was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with serious injuries and was released about a week later. Corona was also treated for injuries caused by the wreck.
Authorities had visited Puckett’s home about four times since the wreck, Clark said. Apparently, Poss had installed a hidden camera that alerted him when authorities visited.
Clark said he had given Puckett his business card a couple of times in the event that she had any information regarding Poss’s whereabouts, but she never called.
Clark said the arrests were the result of sheriff’s Traffic Specialist Ron Tomblin’s “homework.”
Tomblin, the lead investigator on the case, also went to Puckett’s house Tuesday to ask follow-up questions. He was pleased to find the suspect.
“I’m glad we finally got him,” he said.