Newport News man with autism struck by hit-and-run driver while walking to grocery store


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News mother is searching for answers after her son with autism was hit by a car while walking across the street. 

The victim says it happened about a month ago on Marshall Avenue, near the Newmarket Plaza.

Newport News police are investigating the incident and say the say the driver left the scene.

27-year-old Allen Cooke says it all started with a trip to the grocery store.

Cooke has autism and finds joy in walking to the nearby Food Lion to pick up odds and ends multiple times a week. 

However, he hasn’t been in nearly a month because his last trip put him in crutches.

“I like walking up there and I don’t know if I’m going to do it again or not,” said Cooke.

On September 7 around 5:45 p.m. Cooke was headed back home from one of his usual Food Lion trips, but as he went to cross Marshall Avenue, he was hit by a car. 

Newport News police say it was reported that the driver got out to check on him.

“I remember him telling me could I get up and asked if I was OK,” recalled Cooke. 

In panic mode, Cooke says he managed to get up after pulling his foot out from under the drivers tire, and hobble a quarter of a mile home to his mom, Kimberly Mcdonald. 

“I said ‘Allen what happened?’ I thought he had fell down. He said ‘mom I got hit by a car and he just collapsed,'” said Mcdonald

Police say the driver left the scene when Cooke walked away. 

Mcdonald says he was taken to the hospital with multiple broken bones in his foot.

Cooke says he hasn’t been able to sleep well since. 

“I’m having nightmare about getting hit by a car and dying. I can’t sleep good at night,” he explained.

Since it all happened right outside of a local bank, police say there is video footage of the accident.

“Even the police officer told me when he looked at the surveillance camera, that my son looked both ways, there was nothing coming. This car just came out of nowhere and run over him and he said he hit my son hard,” stated Mcdonald. 

She is hoping whoever did this will forward. 

“Please just turn yourself in and do the right thing find it in your heart to do the right thing,” she begged.

Police wouldn’t give 10 On Your Side the surveillance video because of the ongoing investigation. 

They say they are still trying to figure out who the driver is.

Officials say the driver appeared to be a heavy set man driving a white car.

If you know anything about what happened, please contact Newport News police. 

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