According to Haverhill police, on the night of Aug. 31, Patrolman Ronald Hilchey was on patrol about 10:30 p.m. when he was flagged down by a man on Locust Street. Police said the man described a dark-colored SUV that was operating erratically and ran red lights and stop signs.
Hilchey alerted the police dispatch center and drove up Winter Street.
As he approached GAR Park, he was flagged down by several people who told him a man had just been hit by a car. Hilchey put out an alert to be on the lookout for a dark colored Toyota 4Runner matching the description given by witnesses.
Police said a Trinity EMS ambulance transported the victim who was hit while on the park bench to Lawrence General Hospital and that he was later taken by helicopter to a Boston hospital. State troopers and Haverhill police followed a trail of liquid through part of Haverhill and onto Route 108, before the trail ended.
Police were able to identify the vehicle that crashed into Welch as Suarez’s, and when they went to his home, his wife said she had received a call about 11 p.m. from her husband, who asked her to go to Newton to bail him out of jail because he had been arrested for drunken driving.