A 74-year-old man has serious injuries after a driver hit him in Watertown Tuesday night and fled the scene, according to police.
Officers responded to the area of 523 Main St. in Watertown at 9 p.m. after receiving report that a pedestrian was hit by a car and they found a man lying on the side of the road with severe injuries.
That man, Country Cinema owner Miratrip Ajro, known as Mike, was seriously hurt after police say a driver hit him while he was getting into his car. Ajro was sent to Waterbury Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“My mother was struck right out here, right in front of my restaurant,” Joseph Anthony Prieto said.
The news of another person hit on Main Street in Watertown is almost too much for Joseph Anthony Prieto to bare. In September of 2016 his mother was hit and killed while walking across the crosswalk.
“My thoughts and prayers are with my neighbors,” Prieto said.
Police said they found the 22-year-old driver, Andrew Pighinni, less than a mile away from the scene.
“There was significant damage on the right side, a smashed-in windshield and sitting right on the windshield wiper was the victim’s cell phone,” Lt. Tim Gavallas said.
He now faces charges of evading with Serious Injury and Failure to Drive Right. He may face further charges.
“We believe that the driver was under the influence of heroin,” Gavallas said.
Police say since Prieto’s mother’s death the town has begun ticketing drivers who park within 25 feet of a crosswalk, blocking the view of pedestrians but Prieto says it’s now up to drivers to simply slow down.
“This is serious issue with the traffic out here on main street traveling too fast yes,” Prieto said.