Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Suspects Arrested in Hit-and-Run Case

Chandler, Kelton             Sutton, Precious

Sallisaw police have arrested two persons believed involved in a hit-and-run on Tuesday that left a male victim in critical condition.

Capt. Jeff Murray said Kelton Chandler, 24, and Precious Sutton, 22, were arrested early Wednesday. Chandler was booked into the city jail on charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of an accident in which there were injuries, and child endangerment. Sutton was booked for being an accessory to a felony. Both were transported to the Sequoyah County Jail after their arrest.

The couple’s three children, ages 5 and 2 years old and 10 months old, were placed in the custody of a relative. The three children and their parents, Chandler and Sutton, were all in the vehicle when the alleged hit-and-run took place, Murray said.

The suspect's vehicle, a gold Buick LeSabre, was found at about 1 a.m. Wednesday near Lake Tenkiller, Murray said. The car was reported to have an Arkansas tag, which helped investigators find the vehicle and the suspects.

Murray said the hit-and-run occurred at about 5 p.m. Tuesday on Hickory Street, near Charlie’s Chicken on Cherokee Street in Sallisaw.

The hit-and-run victim is Daren Nibarger, 38, of Sallisaw. He is reported in critical condition with head injuries in Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

Murray said witnesses reported Nibarger yelled at the vehicle to slow down shortly before being struck.

Murray said, “It is my understanding that a verbal altercation began which evolved into a physical altercation. Nibarger ran to the north and seconds later was struck by the vehicle, which was being driven backward at the time.”

Murray said it is believed that the suspects are originally from northwest Arkansas and recently moved to near Lake Tenkiller and Fin and Feather Resort.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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