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Man Hits Pedestrian, Drives Nine Miles With Body on Hood

December 22, 1989

GREECE, N.Y. (AP) _ A motorist who struck and killed a pedestrian today drove for nearly nine miles with the victim on the hood, police said.

The motorist, James A. Vandermeer of Rochester, 25, was charged with felony driving while intoxicated. Police would not comment on whether he knew the victim was on the hood.

The pedestrian was identified as Gilbert T. Nettles Jr., 26.

Rochester Police Capt. Michael Karnes said Nettles was struck as he walked in the right lane of Interstate 390 about 2:40 a.m. Nettles’ auto apparently had broken down on an exit ramp in the Rochester suburb of Greece.

Police said Nettles hit the front passenger windshield, and was apparently caught in the shattered windshield.

Vandermeer continued south on I-390 and was spotted by a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy investigating an unrelated traffic accident.

″He saw this vehicle pass with the man on top of it,″ Karnes said. ″Obviously he was startled by the sight. He had no way of pursuing it, so he broadcast it over the police radio.″

Karnes said Vandermeer called police from his apartment at 3:11 a.m. to report an accident. Police found Nettles’ body on the trunk of the car, where it had apparently been moved.

According to state Department of Motor Vehicles records, Vandermeer does not have a valid New York state driver’s license. He was convicted Dec. 1, 1986, for operating a motor vehicle without a license.

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