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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Arlington Police got in touch with their person of interest after a deadly hit-and-run of two pedestrians early Saturday morning.
After interviewing the man in the convenience store surveillance video, investigators determined he was just in the area and had nothing to do with the crash.
Now, friends of a mother, hit and killed by a driver, are making a plea for the person behind the wheel to come forward.
Tammy McLain and a man were crossing Division Street in Arlington, early Saturday morning, when police say a driver struck them. Both died at the scene.
McLain is from Parker County. Her friends and neighbors describe her as a loving mother of a nine year old son, and someone who looked out for other children in the neighborhood.
Friday, she put up “Caution: Children at Play” signs on her street to warn speeding drivers to slow down.
“His mother went up and down this street where they lived to put signs up. Children at play. Please slow down. Then [she] gets run over and killed. I really don’t know what to say,” said Vickie Hall.
Friends say McLain loved animals, and was starting up a dog grooming business.
“She was a great person. Very outgoing and loved to talk. Loved her son,” said Susan Dedman.
The Tarrant County medical examiner is not releasing the identity of the man who was killed, until more relatives are notified.
Friends say McLain and the man went out Friday evening in Arlington, but never returned home on Saturday morning. Their son spent the night with a friend.
“If you have a heart and soul, there’s no way you can do this to this little boy. Give him some peace. Their families. Us,” said Hall.
Arlington Police spent Labor Day reviewing surveillance video obtained from businesses on Division Street.
Police found no vehicle debris in the road after the crash happened, and no witnesses who saw the vehicle hit the couple.
Sunday afternoon, police released pictures of a man and a black SUV who were in the area the night of the crash, asking for the public’s help identifying him.
Officers said the person was not a suspect, but a person of interest who detectives hoped to talk to in case he could provide more information.
That man, Derek Ziegler, says he woke up Monday morning to messages from his family that his face and vehicle were pictured on the news.
“Me being the last person on camera, or leaving where they were, I can understand [police] thinking maybe I hit them. That’s why I went to the police station as soon as possible,” said Ziegler.
Ziegler met with Arlington detectives on Monday afternoon, and showed them his vehicle, which did not have damage that matched the crash.
He told police he was driving home from Sherman where he worked, when he stopped at the Quik Trip for a snack.
He says he saw the couple in the road – before the crash happened.
“They ran in front of my truck, and I stopped. The girl comes around to the passenger side and asks for a ride. I’m thinking I don’t want to do this. They’re walking into oncoming traffic. I tell them I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I’ve got to go and yall need to get out of the road,” said Ziegler.
Ziegler gave detectives a timeline of what he saw that night, but he did not witness the actual crash that killed the man and woman.
Police cleared Ziegler from involvement. They’re asking anyone who spots a vehicle with fresh damage to the front side, to report it, and anyone who was in the area of Bowen and Division who may have information to call police.
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