By Debbie Gregory.
On December 31st, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter was charged with hit-and-run and making an improper left turn in connection with a December 8th incident. Both charges are misdemeanors.
Carpenter, 26, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, turned himself in to Columbia, SC police. He was later released on bond.
According to the Columbia Police Department, Carpenter struck an 18-year-old pedestrian who was making a legal street crossing just after 8:30 p.m.
While Carpenter did pull over and turn on his hazard lights, he did not exit the vehicle to exchange information or render aid, according to police officials.
As the pedestrian stood up and approached the vehicle, Carpenter left the scene.
According to the police incident report, “The suspect then left the location without notifying the proper authorities. The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident did not return to the scene to give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle nor made available his driver’s license or render reasonable aide or assistance to the victim.”
Columbia police were notified by several citizens and responded to the scene. The victim suffered abrasions and a leg injury. He was treated by EMS personnel at the scene but declined transportation to the hospital. Fortunately, the accident did not result in any serious injuries.
Police said they have no evidence that either Carpenter or the victim were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.
Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for saving a fellow Marine from a grenade lobbed by a Taliban fighter. Carpenter took most of the impact, suffering a shattered jaw, shattered right arm, the loss of his right eye and most of his teeth. He spent five weeks in a coma, underwent dozens of surgeries and spent two years in the hospital for rehabilitation.
Carpenter has fully cooperated with the investigation, authorities said.