The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 4, 2013

Hit-and-run suspect picked up by Enid Police Department

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The suspected driver in a hit-and-run accident that injured two people has been arrested.

Cleveland Williams, 49, was taken into custody Wednesday by the Enid Police Department.

PDF: Court affadavit and police report

The arrest comes just a few days after the victims in the accident filed a civil lawsuit against Williams and another man they believe also was in the truck.

Two pedestrians were seriously injured in the accident, as they walked together in the evening hours of Aug. 23. Police were later tipped off and questioned both Williams and Jason B. Hughes the night of the accident.

Williams eventually was arrested on complaints of failure to stop after a non-fatal traffic accident, a felony. He also faces misdemeanor charges of failure to give information and render aid, failure to contact law enforcement and driving with a revoked license, according to the Garfield County District Attorney’s Office.

There have been no criminal charges filed against Hughes, and he has not been arrested.

Jesse Presson, 20, and Samantha Kester, 17, were hit by a pickup as they walked near Cleveland and Oklahoma. The vehicle then fled the scene, police said.

According to the police accident report, someone claiming knowledge of the incident called a relative of Presson and said Hughes was involved. That information was forwarded to police.

An officer went to Hughes’ residence and found him inside. Hughes reportedly told police he was with Williams when the accident occurred. The officer wrote that Hughes said he and Williams “had been drinking” before heading to a restaurant for food. Hughes did not drive, he told the officer, because he did not have a valid driver’s license.

After speaking with Hughes, the officer approached Williams, who was outside the house sleeping in a tent. When questioned, Williams denied involvement and said he was never in the truck.

Officer Kenyon Hughes was investigating the wreck and being assisted by officer Andy Morris. Once Enid Police determined the DA had issued the warrant, Morris made the arrest, Capt. Jack Morris said.

Lawsuit filed

The civil lawsuit, filed Friday, names both Williams and Hughes as defendants.

According to the suit, Kester’s parents and Presson allege Williams was behind the wheel of a Hughes Tree Service truck. They also accuse him of being intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Hughes purportedly owns Hughes Tree Service, the lawsuit states. The company also is listed as a defendant.

The lawsuit states Hughes allowed Williams to drive, or operated his vehicle recklessly, “by being intoxicated at the time his vehicle struck the plaintiffs.”

Both Presson and Kester were seriously injured and taken to Integris Bass Baptist Health Center.

The lawsuit does not specify how much they hope to receive in damages, but they filed a category of lawsuit allowing rewards of more than $10,000.

Hughes could not be reached for comment. The plaintiffs’ attorney did not return a request for comment.