Driver who mowed down two skateboarders still on the loose

Jeff Rhodehamel

Two skateboarders who were seriously hurt in a hit-and-run in downtown Charleston two months ago said they would feel better if the driver were found.

“It would actually bring comfort to me knowing that this drunk driver or whoever that left two people in the road for dead pretty much is not driving around scot-free,” Jeff Rhodehamel, 24, of Charleston said. “Even waking up the next day, you’re going to see damage on the car.”

Rhodehamel and Sam Dudley, 21, of North Charleston left the Silver Dollar bar on King Street around 2 a.m. May 7 and hopped on their skateboards. They were heading north on Meeting Street by Marion Square when a car came up from behind and knocked them into the street.

A witness told police they were hit by a dark sedan that sped up behind them and kept on going, according to the police report.

A bystander ran over to wave down cars so they didn’t get hit a second time. Their skateboards got hit anyway, breaking them in half.

Rhodehamel found that out later, since his only memories of the incident are cruising down the street and waking up to hear EMS telling him he had been hit by a car.

The impact broke his right leg in two places, fracturing the tibia and fibula. He will be in a walking boot for several more weeks before starting physical therapy. He said he was getting ready to start a restaurant job when he was hit and will be out of work for weeks. A GoFundMe account was started to help with medical bills.

Dudley suffered a fractured skull, a broken elbow and a damaged ear. He’s back to work as a dishwasher and part-time security guard but has lost his sense of smell, most of his taste and some of his hearing and has dizzy spells.

He hopes finding the driver might help him with his $50,000 medical bills. Dudley said he’s frustrated the city doesn’t have a video camera on that busy part of Meeting Street. He also has a GoFundMe account.

A city ordinance bans skateboards on many downtown streets, including where the two men were hit. Rhodehamel said he had never heard that.

“I go down Meeting Street all the time, and there are continuous skaters and bikers,” he said. “I’ve never seen a sign saying no skateboarding down the street. I’m a Charleston native, and it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of it.”

Dudley said he had heard of the ordinance but didn’t think it was fair.

“I can ride my skateboard as fast as some people can ride a bike,” Dudley said.

Reach Dave Munday at 843-937-5553.