Dog Turns Up at Home With Ripped Leash After Owner Killed in Hit-and-Run


Police in Henry County, Georgia have issued an appeal for information after a fatal hit and run.

Robert Salter in McDonough, a city in the Henry County area just 30 miles south of downtown Atlanta.

Early on September 2, Salter and his dog Smoke left for a routine morning walk. But when Smoke returned home alone with his leash ripped in half, the man’s family knew that something was wrong.

They rushed outside to discover that Salter had been struck while in his wheelchair by a car that had not stopped.

Salter was left to suffer injuries that would later become fatal. In a social media post on its Facebook page, the Henry County Police Department urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

In ten years, the number of fatal hit-and-runs in the U.S. has increased by 89 percent according to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Robert Salter who died after a hit-and-run incident on September 2, 2023, and a picture of his dog Smoke, who was with him during the accident.
Henry County Police Department

Data between 2012 and 2021, the last year when data is available, revealed that fatal hit-and-run incidents increased from 1,469 in 2012 to 2,783 in 2021. In this ten-year period there were 19,522 fatal hit-and-runs in the U.S.

The reasons for an increase in hit-and-run incidents are unknown, although historical cases suggest that distracted driving is a common factor, particularly thanks to increased use of smartphones by drivers.

Motorists driving under the influence or with license suspensions are also more likely to flee the scene of a crash in order to avoid further penalties or legal consequences.

The legal punishment for hit-and-run varies from state to state, with some cases classified as misdemeanors and others as felonies. The outcome often depends on the severity of the incident and whether injury or death was involved, or the amount of property damage.

Earlier this year another dog was forced to walk home alone after his owner was killed in a hit-and-run. Patch remained unharmed and faithfully waited on his porch after the accident, but sadly lost his beloved owner. Last month, he was welcomed into a new home where he is settling in well.

Henry County Police Department asked for information via their Facebook page where people were heartbroken for the family.

“I hope they find the heartless person that did this,” said one commenter.

While another Facebook user said: “Prayers for Mr. Salter’s family.”

“This is devastating,” said one comment. “I hope the person steps up.”

Anyone with information about this incident, or who knows the identity of the suspect, is asked to contact Investigator L. Combs at 770-288-8290, the Henry County Non-Emergency Dispatch at 770-957-9121, or text tips, photos, and videos to 770-220-7009.


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