The man from the car looked out of place in Luttrell. For one thing, it was rare to see a Japanese vehicle in this area—maybe in Atlanta, Macon or around Valdosta, but definitely not in Luttrell. The hard working folks in this area of Georgia drove American vehicles from one of the Detroit Big Three. It was a toss up between Ford and Dodge for pick-ups popularity, and about an even spread between GM, Ford and Dodge for cars.
It was hard to tell for sure based on the glare of the street lights, but the driver appeared to be in his late fifties or maybe early sixties. He wore a sport jacket, white shirt, khaki slacks and dress shoes. His hair was styled with a mousse in an attempt to make him look younger than he really was. Folks in Luttrell didn’t even dress up like that for church, let alone in the middle of the week, at almost midnight.
As the man walked closer to the Yukon, Benny could tell he was a little shaken and appeared out of breath. He was sweating heavily, his clothes were ruffled and there was an oily stain on the shirt.
Benny got out of the Yukon, forced a smile and offered a greeting.
“My name is Lee Logan. There’s been an accident a few miles back. A woman in a mini-van,” the man explained, breathing heavily.
Trying to act surprised, Benny replied, “Anybody hurt?”
“The lady is pinned underneath the front axle of the van. Someone must have hit her from behind. She was able to speak when I first arrived and told me that she saw a truck top the rise and that it must have hit her. I stayed with her for a while hoping someone else would come along and I could go for help, but when she lost consciousness I decided to come into town and look for help. My cell phone doesn’t work out here.”
“What’d the driver say?” Benny inquired, trying not act too anxious.
“I guess the driver left. Hit and run. When I approached from the opposite direction, I noticed a vehicle turning around and heading this way.” The man recalled. “I’m surprised you didn’t see the van when you came by this way.”
“I must have just missed it. You saw the highway patrol stopped me. I’ve been here about for awhile and now my darn truck won’t start.”
“Do you have a cell phone?” The man asked hurriedly, not really caring about Benny’s troubles. “We’ve got to call for help. She’s hurt badly and needs a doctor soon.”
“I’ve got one, but there’s no service all the way out here. I think I saw a pay phone across the street,” Benny offered.
Demonstrating his growing impatience with Benny, the man turned in all directions looking first up the street and then down the street, hoping to locate a pay phone or a business that was still open. Seeing nothing, he began to walk back toward his vehicle at the post office.
“If you see anyone, tell them we need help,” he yelled as he returned to the driver’s seat of the car.
As the man sped off, Benny again tried frantically to start the Yukon. This time it started. He had to get out of here before someone else came along. Setting out here on the side of the road, the chances of discovery were huge.
On Tuesday, Lee Logan had been in Atlanta on business, attending a regional franchise meeting with other southeast region dealer principals scheduled by Nissan representatives. He’d flown into Atlanta on Monday evening, attended the meeting Tuesday morning, and rather than flying back to Orlando, Mr. Logan rented a car and decided to drive back. He owned a farm near Roseville, Georgia, and wanted to stop by on the way back to Orlando for some deer hunting. He was regretting that decision now.
As he drove back to the accident scene, Logan wondered about the stranger in the Yukon. Being a masterful manipulator of people himself, it was evident that the driver of the Yukon had been lying. It was clear to him; the Yukon had hit the mini-van and left the scene without offering help. “And they say car salesman are scum bags,” he thought, as he headed back to see what he could do for the injured woman.
In the time it took to drive back to the mini-van, another vehicle had stopped at the scene and an ambulance had arrived. Seeing the situation was being attended to, Logan decided to turn around and head back into Luttrell to see if the driver of the Yukon was still there.
By the time he arrived back in Luttrell the Yukon was gone, so he decided to go ahead and drive to Roseville.
A few miles from town Logan pulled into the Quick Mart feeling lucky it was still open and had gas pumps. After pumping gas he headed inside to pay the clerk and to get a can of Coke. Approaching the counter, he noticed the clerk was talking to a lady in a chair off to one side, almost out of site. He plunked the Coke on the counter and pulled out his wallet to pay.
The clerk appeared annoyed for the interruption and turned toward Lee Logan.
“That it sir?” he asked. “You have gas?”
“I had gas on pump #2 and want this can of Coke” he answered.
“Where you headed?” the clerk questioned again, trying to make small talk as Logan put his wallet back in the pocket of his trousers.
“I’m going to just the other side of Roseville for some deer hunting in the morning. I own a farm out there on the north side of town.”
“It’s not very busy in here tonight” he stated matter- of-factly toward the clerk as he opened the can of Coke and slurped a drink. “I’m from Orlando and gas stations are jumping this time of night.”
“It ain’t real busy around here much at night, mostly in the day time” said the clerk. “Just a couple cars stopped in tonight. My cousin Billy Joe stopped in about 8:00 on his way home and a guy in a Yukon stopped in about 9:00 and that’s been about it.”
“Was it a white Yukon by any chance?” Logan asked becoming more interested between slurps of the Coke can.
“Yep. I believe it was white now that you mention it” the clerk recalled.
The discussion had stirred the lady in the chair to speak and she joined the conversation.
“He stopped over for pizza and beer earlier. He said he was headed back to Gilman County tonight after the ball game.”