Davenport man charged in fatal hit-and-run

(Davenport, IA) -- A Davenport man is behind bars in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a man dead in January.

On Friday, 63 year old Mark Lance Blackwood was booked into the Scott County Jail on charges of homicide by vehicle-reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident result in death.

Blackwood faces 15 years in prison if convicted on both charges.

According to an arrest affidavit and an affidavit for a search warrant, obtained by KWQC-TV6:

Just after 7:00 the night of Jan. 18, Davenport police responded to the 2600 block of Fillmore for an unresponsive man, later identified as Eric L. Johnson, 60, of Rock Island, in the roadway. Officers found drag marks on the roadway and backtracked to the 1900 block of Washington Street, where they determined a vehicle hit Johnson.

They also found a small dark blue paint chip in the 1900 block of Washington Street. Police determined the suspect vehicle, later identified as a 1999 Chevrolet Blazer, was driving north on Washington Street when it struck Johnson.

Johnson was carried on the hood/front of the vehicle for about 140 feet after being hit by the vehicle. After the initial contact, Johnson fell from the hood/front of the vehicle and became entangled in the undercarriage, and was dragged nearly 3,000 feet. The vehicle drove north on Washington Street, then east on Central Park Avenue, and finally north on Fillmore Lane, where Johnson became dislodged.

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The next day, officers who were canvassing neighborhoods located a dark blue Chevrolet Blazer in the 1300 block of West Garfield Street. The SUV was registered to Blackwood. The SUV, parked on a public roadway, had a large dent on the hood and broken plastic molding on the vehicle’s front. Officers also saw small paint chips still resting on the hood, consistent with the paint chip found on the roadway the day before.

Officers spoke with Blackwood, who said, “You found the right guy,” and that he wanted to talk with an attorney before providing a statement. Blackwood indicated the vehicle had been parked outside his home since the incident and had the keys.

Officers impounded the SUV, according to the affidavits. Police alleged in the arrest affidavit that Blackwood knew or should have reasonably known that he struck a person and never reported the crash to the police or medical personnel after it happened.

(Photo by KWQC)

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