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Hit & Run Victim’s Niece Talks About Loss

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.. (WHNT) – Huntsville police want to know what caused a woman to drive a car into Marty Reed, running him over and leaving the 45-year-old dead.

Investigators say Tammy Byrd Buchanan was behind the wheel. Police charged her with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.

Reed’s niece, Deborah Bearden, talked with WHNT NEWS 19.

Bearden let Reed live in her home the last two weeks. She is his niece.

“He had a big heart.  He would give the shirt off his back.  He didn’t deserve any of this,” said Bearden.

Reed is dead. Police told Bearden her uncle was the victim of a hit and run. She believes Buchanan’s charges should be more severe.

“I believe it was intentional. She had taken some things from him at the restaurant and left him with the bill,” added Bearden.

Bearden heard from her uncle early Thursday night. She says he asked her for a ride home after he had gone out to dinner with Buchanan. Reed and Buchanan were dating.

“I started calling his phone at about 8:26 p.m. and called up until about 8:35 p.m. I got no answer,” added Bearden.

Bearden knew something was wrong.

“I said this is not my uncle. I said he would answer his phone regardless,” added Bearden.

She made it to her uncle about 15 minutes later, but it was too late.

“I was there. I was the first one on the scene beside the cops. I was there to pick Marty up,” added Bearden.

Bearden hopes to start making funeral plans for her uncle on Monday. Reed leaves behind one daughter.

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