Was a hit and run in North Carolina racially motivated?

Witnesses described this man to police

Suspect:

Gender:Male
DOB: 1962
Hair: Stringy blonde or brown
Defining Characteristics: May have a mustache

CASE DETAILS

Why did he cause this fatal crash?

It all began on the quiet afternoon of December 23, 1988, in Greensboro, North Carolina.   19-year-old Ken Dungee was picked up by three of his friends en route to do some last minute Christmas shopping.   The four young African-American men planned to make the hour and a half trip to Raleigh on the I-40 Highway.   It had been a good year for all of them.   The driver, 17-year-old Lavern Allen, had just received a scholarship to the Air Force Academy.   Ken Dungee was a drafting and engineering student, headed for college in the fall.   17-year old Kenneth Newkirk had just received a scholarship to a local college.   And 17-year-old Darius Bannerman was a high school basketball star with a promising future.   On their way to the shopping mall, the four passed a car driven by a man named Grady Alexander:

The Monte Carlo repeatedly rammed their car

“When they went by me, they were doing about 60, 65. I looked over, and one of the boys saw me looking at him, he grinned and waved, and the car kept on going.   After that, another car came up on me very fast.   And as it got by me, I happened to look down at the license plate, and I said to myself, ‘a redneck from Georgia.’   Because his hair looked like it was dirty and greasy and stringy.   And he was probably doing 75 or 80.”

A few moments later, Lavern Allen noticed a blue Monte Carlo closing in at a high rate of speed:

“When I looked in the rear view mirror, I saw a car and he was so close to me, I could not see his front bumper.   That’s how close he was.   At first I just thought it was somebody tailgating, just riding close.”

Lavern Allen was airlifted to the hospital

Still weary from an earlier basketball practice, Darius Bannerman was napping in the front seat when he was suddenly woken up:

“I was sleeping and everyone in there was talking about this guy that’s following us.   At first, I didn’t think anything of it, but, the guy was extremely close to the point where, you know, it was like right on our bumper.   He bumped us, and it didn’t seem as though this was all happening… it was like, horror. Traffic was moving fast and we speeded up to get away from the guy.   The man driving the Monte Carlo, he had a look like we had done something personal to him, like mad.   It just looked like he wanted to hurt us.”

Lavern Allen lll

Then, without warning, the Monte Carlo pulled alongside the boys’ car and rammed it off the highway.   A few minutes later, police and paramedics arrived at the accident site.   They found a horrific scene.   Lavern Allen was trapped in the car for half an hour.   After being airlifted to a trauma center, his leg was amputated at the thigh.   Ken Newkirk had suffered a fractured skull and a broken leg.   Darius Bannerman had a broken wrist and facial injuries.   Ken Dungee was pronounced dead at the scene.

Beth Velliquette was the first reporter on the scene and spoke with several witnesses who described the assault:

“The eyewitnesses said that after the car… went off the road, the Monte Carlo did pull over to the side.   A man and a woman got out, just for a moment, and looked back, and then… drove off.”

Darius Bannerman

Because of a lack of evidence, the police were reluctant to treat the incident as a crime.   However, the victims believed that it was a murder.   The driver of the Monte Carlo had a mustache and brown stringy hair.   He was traveling with a woman who had blond hair.   The wanted vehicle is described as a light blue Monte Carlo, with Georgia license plates.

 

 


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season two with Robert Stack and season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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18 Comments

  1. Ash Paladium

    Tragic accident and I hope the driver of the Monte Carlo is found.
    Also, I find it ironic that Grady Alexander gets away with making a racist statement such as “Georgia Redneck”. He is making a generalization and its exactly the same as calling a black person a Georgia Hoodlum. No different. Of course then it wouldn’t be printed here on this site. Double Standard. Grady Alexander is the type of person who is the problem in this country. Until people like him stop generalizing people, racism won’t end. I never knew that greasy hair and beomg white from Georgia qualifies one as a “Redneck”. Ignorant.

    Reply

  2. Richie

    I just watched this and it’s truly heartbreaking to even imagine. The death of Kenny Dungee, the unidentified mystery suspect. He may have never been found, but the guilt is sure tearing at his life and soul.

    Reply

  3. C.S. Alexander

    My Dad is Grady Alexander, the man interviewed who saw the blue Monte Carlo. I was in the back seat asleep when it happened, but woke up when we pulled over and Dad got out. I walked over with him and it was tragically surreal. Dad did everything he could to help at the scene and then later with the investigation. The SBI tried to hypnotize him to see if he could remember the license plate of the “redneck from Georgia”, but it didn’t work. I think it bothered him alot that he couldn’t do more.

    I am thankful to read these guys ended up having good lives and will always hold sorrow in my heart for the friend they lost.

    Reply

  4. Michelle

    Ken and I lived in the same neighborhood. I had recently moved away but was visting for the holiday when this tragic happen. I think about him from time to time. I just can’t believe they never did anything to try to solve this case. Justice will be served or it might have already happen.

    Reply

  5. Just Wondering

    Why don’t the reopen this case? I know now the police can run a search with the description of the vehicle to locate the owner of the Monte Carlo. They know the card had Georgia tags. I’m sure there will be several but I feel like someone could narrow it down.

    Reply

  6. chanita

    I Think The Reason Why He Did It IT’S Because He Was Mean And He Deserves To Face The Death Penalty Two Of Those Freinds We’re Murdered For No Reason!

    Reply

  7. Stefan cole

    What a scumbag whoever did that to those guys and after all these years they never solved it. I hope God brings total judgment on that basterd.

    Reply

  8. Larry

    I saw this episode decades ago and my first thought was that the black kids were probably hiding some inconvenient fact. I’m willing to bet they provoked the guy by harassing his woman somehow. I would be very surprised if he attacked them for no reason at all.

    Reply

    • Jonathan

      What a heartless thing to say. You hate blacks that much. People like you should just crawl into a hole somewhere. There were other drivers that were interviewed and no one said anything about the black kids provoking the driver, if you paid attention to the segment.

      Reply

    • Kasey

      Why would that be a surprise? People are attacked for no reason all the time. Idiot.

      Reply

  9. Scott

    This is obviously motivated by prejudice period. Anybody saying otherwise is a fool. It’s sad that ignorant sub human beings are allowed to operate a vehicle when they’re beliefs are based on pure stupidity and prejudice. I hope the scumbag that did this ended up with a disease that took his life in a painful manner. I’m happy to hear that the other three guys were able to move on the best that they can.

    Reply

  10. Wonder

    To think this is racially motivated is insane, after decades in law enforcement it is almost impossible to determine the race of people in a car when it is in motion, I just think the people in the other car din’t think it was as bad as it was and when they saw the damage they inflicted chose to run, my prediction is after all this time and no evidence this won’t be “solved”

    Reply

  11. Chris

    It’s to bad they didn’t slowly stop the car, it’s 4 of them one of him and his girlfriend

    Reply

  12. Petaa motex

    This is also the creepiest sketch I have ever seen! What a dude! Hope he gets caught for what he did to those guys!

    Reply

  13. BV

    I’m the newspaper reporter who was in this segment. A couple years ago, I found Darius Bannerman and interviewed him in person. I interviewed the other two survivors by phone. They are strong men, working at their careers, good fathers, and even though they live in different cities, they still remain close friends. My article appeared in The Herald-Sun of Durham, NC. The crime was never solved. 1-17-2015

    Reply

    • Kathy

      I am so happy that you spoke up for these young men. I have known each of them since we were all teenagers. To the person who assumed that they did something to anger the Monte Carlo murderer is absurd. These guys are class acts and were/are not the type to be “hateful” towards anyone.
      The guys are all doing great and prosperous with families and great careers.
      It is my hopes that the persons responsible for murder and tragic life changing event is eventually found and that Karma pays THEM both a visit.

      Reply

  14. lord rob main

    did they ever find out who did this.

    Reply