Hit and run victim reacts to arrest after 3TV viewer helps track suspect downPosted: Updated:
QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. – The victim of a hit and run shares his story with 3TV and it turns out one of our viewers helped deputies crack the case and make an arrest.
Both Michael Salls and his wife have siblings who were killed by hit and run drivers. That is all the more reason why they wanted the public's help seeking justice in this case.
Salls questions, “Why would you leave me there on the side of the road? You didn't even know if I was alive or dead?”
That is just one of the questions Salls says he has for the man who crashed into him last month at Empire and Ellsworth.
Salls explains, “We both had a green and he was making a left-hand turn and didn't yield to oncoming traffic.”
Salls hit the car and was thrown off his motorcycle all the way across the intersection. According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, 20-year-old Gilmore Welch did not stop but left behind his front bumper.
Salls tells 3TV, “There was a part number on the inside able to trace that back to a 2006 to 2007 Toyota Corolla four door.”
At that point deputies knew what they were looking for but they still did not know who they were looking for.
3TV first met Salls a week after the crash. He was still bruised and bandaged from the wreck and was asking for the public's help.
Shortly after our story aired Sells says, “An anonymous person called in a tip and gave the address, name of the person…everything.”
According to deputies, Welch had already fixed the car and was hiding out but when they threatened to release his name and picture to the media, Welch was convinced to surrender.
Salls explains, “He admitted to police he was in the accident.” Deputies say his excuse for fleeing was that he was scared. Salls adds, “It would have been a lot easier if you'd stayed…wouldn't be in as much trouble as you are.”
Salls says he realizes he is lucky an arrest has been made and feels extremely lucky to be alive. Welch is now charged with one count of leaving the scene of an injury accident.
In the meantime, Salls is looking forward to a full recovery and is fixing up his bike and maybe one day riding again.