A man who police say ran from the scene of a traffic crash he caused on I-270 on Tuesday morning — and had not been seen since — was found dead Saturday in a shallow creek that runs along the highway on the East Side.
Family members had filed two missing-person reports since Tuesday for Seon Wright, 22, of Pickerington, and it was his relatives who found his body while they were out searching for him about 9:15 a.m., said Columbus police homicide detective Dana Croom.
The body was in the water surrounded by dense brush and in an area at the base of a steep hill that is difficult to reach and to see, just off the intersection of southbound I-270 and E. Main Street.
Croom said it appears that Wright might have been hiding there following the Tuesday crash.
An autopsy will help determine how he died, Croom said, but nothing indicates foul play.
More than two dozen friends and relatives of Wright gathered at the scene and in the parking lot of a the nearby Poblano’s restaurant throughout the day but said they were too distraught to comment.
According to Columbus police, several calls came in on Tuesday, starting at 8:57 a.m., about a red Nissan car traveling too fast on I-270 northbound at Main Street. Eventually, the Nissan hit at least one other vehicle in the area, Croom said.
The Nissan was disabled and caught fire in the crash, Croom said. Witnesses called 911 but the driver ran off. It later was determined that that was Wright.
It was unknown if Wright was injured in the crash. Others were not injured.
After the crash, police walked the area searching for Wright and used dogs and a police helicopter. The search focused to the east of the interstate, toward Reynoldsburg, because witnesses said Wright ran in that direction, Croom said.
Law enforcement found nothing.
On Wednesday, Wright’s mother filed a missing-person report, according to Pickerington police. Pickerington officers then looked at cellphone records and tried to retrace Wright’s steps for clues, a police dispatcher said.
The family filed another missing-person report on Friday with Columbus police.
Police said they knew Wright’s relatives and his fiancee had been searching for him the past few days. Croom said he didn’t know how actively officers had searched after Tuesday.
“He had run from the scene of a hit-and-run,” Croom said. “People run from the police all the time, and we never have any reason to think they are going to be found dead.”
Holly Zachariah - The Columbus Dispatch (MCT)
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