The Highway Patrol says investigators are making progress in a hit-and-run that killed an Onslow County man on New Year's Eve. But with no arrest yet, the victim's sister is speaking out.
Earl Dupey, 30, was walking along Highway 24 in Hubert, about a half a mile from Hubert Boulevard, when he was hit just after 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, trooper said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Dupey's sister, Sabrina, witnessed the hit-and-run. She said seeing a car hit her brother and leave the scene was something she'll never forget.
"He was laying on the side of the highway, gasping for air," Sabrina recalled.
Earl had called his sister for a ride home that night. He was walking along the highway. Sabrina went to meet her brother and was waiting on the other side of the highway. But Earl never made it across.
"All I saw was his body flying, pieces of car flying... me getting out the car to stop people from hitting him again," said Sabrina. "[He] was my only sibling. I don't have any more siblings."
The Highway Patrol is still working to find the driver in the hit-and-run. Sgt. R.E. Dudley said troopers have followed up on approximately 50 leads and have sent a side-view mirror found at the scene to the State Bureau of Investigation.
"I certainly believe that they are aware that they hit Mr. Dupey and I believe that they are not coming forward," said Sgt. Dudley. "We're casting our net as wide as possible. Pictures and all evidence, we retain them indefinitely until a suspect is apprehended."
Meanwhile, Dupey's family continue to have hope that the driver responsible will be found.
"It's not right, it's not right. You hit somebody, you need to face the consequences of your actions," said Sabrina.
The Highway Patrol in Onslow County said this type of case is rare. Sgt. Dudley said the last hit-and-run pedestrian fatality they investigated was in 2009.