The mother of the man who was killed as he tried to cross South Memorial Drive in Greenville early Saturday morning has confirmed to NewsChannel 12 that it was her son who died.
"I thought he was going to come back, but he didn't ever come back," said Greenville mother Shirley Staton who spent the weekend panicked when her 27-year-old son, Derrick Staton, didn't come home Friday night.
"He usually comes back or if he stayed out all night, he would call ... He didn't ever call and I said that's not like Derrick," Staton said.
She waited as long as she could before calling Greenville police to report him as missing late Saturday night.
“I thought maybe they found him somewhere, you know, at somebody's house or he was drunk," Staton said.
Meanwhile, along a dimly lit portion of South Memorial Dr., Greenville police found a man laying in the median after being hit and killed by an SUV around one Saturday morning. Police say the man was trying to cross the road.
"They called me out to the crime scene to document the crime scene," Greenville Police Corporal Mike Staffelbach said.
But without identification on the body, police weren't able to ID the victim.
"We want to help them identify their loved one, but at the same time we want to be very sensitive to their needs and loss," Staffelbach said.
Typically in a case like this, officers use technology to put a name to the John Doe like fingerprinting or composite sketches of the victims face to put out to the public. But in this case, officers got Staton's call first.
"They wanted to know all about him. Did he have a tattoo? What else did he have on? What was he carrying with him?" Staton said.
Her description of Derrick connected the dots.
"We had a call about (an accident) ... He said he thinks that fits the description of my son and I said, ‘Oh my God, no, no, no, Lord Jesus, no’," Staton said.
Those words are something she'll never forget.
"I just miss him. I love him. I wish he was back here with me," Staton said.
Police said the driver stopped and was cooperative with the investigation. No criminal charges will be filed against the driver since Staton ran out into the road, which didn't give the driver any time to respond.
Per his mother's request, we are not publishing any pictures of Staton.