CUMMING — Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested the suspect in a hit-and-run case that left a female pedestrian who was walking her dog home from Waffle House in critical condition.
According to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, 28-year-old Stephanie Anderson was taken to the Forsyth County Detention Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Anderson reportedly left Canton Highway (Hwy. 20) and struck the woman, whose name has not been released, near Tower Road about 4:10 a.m. Sunday, Rodriguez said.
It is not known how far off the highway the woman was when struck, he said, but that distance was enough to cross the fog line onto grass.
The vehicle, a blue 2006 Nissan Sentra, was impounded by the sheriff’s office after it was found at a home in a subdivision off Wallace Tatum Road in north Forsyth.
It had been the focus of a search through the agency’s social media network, though it is not yet known where the break-through in the case came from.
Deputy Mike Nelson led the investigation.
“There was evidence on scene that was left from the car,” Rodriguez said. “That led him to her.”
The sheriff’s office could not confirm Anderson owns the vehicle. However, vehicle registration is readily available to deputies upon finding a license plate number.
Anderson has been charged with felony hit and run, serious injury by motor vehicle, failure to render aid and failure to maintain lane.
Alcohol or drugs are not suspected at this time, Rodriguez said, though a cause of the incident has not yet been determined.
Nelson was apparently unable to determine whether Anderson was impaired or distracted at the time of the incident because she wasn’t located until days later. The investigation is ongoing.
After being read her rights, Anderson apparently deferred all comments to her lawyer, Logan Butler.
Butler said Wednesday that he is investigating the case, but that it would be “inappropriate to comment further.”
He added, however, that Anderson has posted bond and been released from the detention center.
Authorities were notified of the hit-and-run when a passer-by called 911 about 5:45 a.m. Sunday after finding the woman, who is in her mid-40s, in a ditch off the highway, just northwest of Cumming. The person apparently noticed the woman’s dog standing by.
The dog was not hurt, though authorities couldn’t say what type or breed it was. The pet is being kept at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter until the owner returns home.
As of Thursday, the woman remained in the hospital, where she had been taken in critical condition.
Rodriguez said she had apparently been returning from a nearby Waffle House.
“More than likely she was eating breakfast” after recently waking up to take her dog out, he said. “I don’t know if she was there with anyone else, but no one was even near her when it happened because she lay there for around an hour [and] 20 [minutes].”
There are homes and a subdivision near the location, he said, so it is not unusual for pedestrians to be in the area.