Family of I-40 hit-and-run victim Trevor Ware speaking out; THV looks into criminal past of suspect Nathan Ray

    9:56 PM, Sep 7, 2012   |    comments
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    • Trevor Ware. Photo courtesy of Ware's family.
    • Police say Nathan Ray is facing charges of aggravated assault and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In a THV update, we are learning more about the victim and the suspect in a hit-and-run accident this week along Interstate 40 in North Little Rock. 

    We know that the suspect is now out of jail while the victim remains in a coma at UAMS where family and friends are watching him closely.

    We talked with family members and they say the word from doctors, treating 28-year-old Trevor Ware, is that it could be weeks before he wakes up. They say that he's shown a little movement so far but no real communication to report from a guy known for his musical talent and more.  

    Those who know Trevor Ware know a guitar in his arms or his dog on his motorcycle is "pure Trevor." 

    "One word is awesome, that's an awesome kid, he really is," Dawn Padgett said.

    Dawn Padgett is a proud grandma who's seen her oldest grandson performs with his Indie-Rock band, Grand Serenade.

    "He came over and said, do you need ear plugs grandma? And I said no, I'm OK," Padgett said.

    He's watching out for his Grandma, while this week, she and others are watching out for Ware, who is in a coma at UAMS.

    "It's just kind of a waiting game to see if he wakes up and they said minimum of three or four weeks they think before he can actually try and wake up," Melissa Padgett said.

    Cousin Melissa Padgett gives us the latest, following Monday's hit and run accident along I-40 in North Little Rock. State police say a car struck the back of Ware's motorcycle, throwing him onto the vehicle's windshield. They say the car's driver, Nathan Ray of North Little Rock, took off, dragging the motorcycle until it broke free.       

    "They couldn't find his wallet so they had us come down to identify him," Dawn Padgett said.

    It turned this family's life upside down but there have been a few glimmers of hope from Ware.

    "Some movements, it's hard to tell if it's just reflex or if he's doing it, we think he's been trying to do something things," Melissa Padgett said.

    They're staying positive to stay strong with lots of pictures to smile about. 

    As for his injuries, Melissa Padgett said Ware injured the part of his brain that controls consciousness. He also had a torn colon, a fractured femur and some vertebrae. Doctors tell family that if and when Ware wakes up, they're hopeful for a recovery given his youth and health up to this point.

    As for the suspect, we haven't been able to reach Nathan Ray yet. We put phone calls into numbers listed in police reports, even went to a listed address and left a note, but no response so far.

    We dug into his record with North Little Rock police and here's what we found. On July 24th, after he hit a utility pole, prosecutors charged Ray with DWI, refusing a breathalyzer test and no proof of insurance.

    Before that, police say Ray's record goes back to April of 1999 with another one-car accident. Reports say that Ray fled the scene and told a friend he'd been drinking. But there were no charges in that case.

    Then, in April of 2001, came charges for failure to yield in a wreck in North Little Rock. And in May of 2001, there was a charge for following too closely in a crash. In June of 2001, there was a charge leaving the scene of a single-car accident after hitting a mailbox.

    As for this week's hit and run, state police have not released the report on it; a spokesman says they are still waiting for toxicology tests and fiber analysis.  

    Ray is facing charges for aggravated assault and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident for this week's hit and run. Family tell us that Ware was not wearing a helmet at the time.

    To help Ware and his family with medical bills, a benefit show is planned for October 5th at the Whitewater Tavern in Little Rock. You can also click here to donate online.  

    Twitter: @KTHVMax

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