GREENSBORO, N.C. — The suspect accused of murdering three people was involved in a hit-and-run accident on Wendover Avenue, just thirty minutes after Greensboro Police responded to her home on Sweet Birch Drive, according to police reports.
Brittany McKinney is charged in the murders of 2-year-old Serenity Rose, 10-year-old Mkenzie McKinney, and 61-year-old Jerry Griffin.
Family tells WFMY News 2 that Mkenzie was the suspect's daughter, and that Serenity was the suspect's niece.
On January 1st, police responded to her home at 11:15 am in reference to a welfare check. Not long after, the investigation turned into a triple homicide.
Police reports indicate that McKinney got into a hit-and-run car accident about a half-hour later at 11:47 a.m. The report also states that she was driving Griffin's car.
On Friday night, WFMY News 2 sat down with the driver of the vehicle McKinney hit.
Veronica Hayes says she's still shaken up over the unexpected encounter.
"I never would have suspected what had just occurred, that that was the young lady that I was with," she said.
While driving on Wendover Avenue Wednesday morning, Hayes says kept her eye on a nearby SUV.
"I saw her reach over for something in the car," she explained, "Then she swerved a little bit, and hit a utility pole, and she kept going."
Hayes managed to dodge the pole and pulled in front of the driver - who then, hit her car. Noticing the airbags in the SUV were fully deployed - she got out, to check on the driver.
"I'm asking her, are you ok? I said the police will be here shortly, I hear the ambulance coming," Hayes said, "And, she was still kind of disoriented.
"Then she looked at me, and her eyes were a little glassy and she said 'I don't want you involved, sis.' And I said, just come sit in my car the police will be here shortly. Then, she started to walk away."
The woman walking away to a nearby gas station: none other than 28-year-old Brittany McKinney.
"She had that distressed look on her face," Hayes said, "She appeared to be another normal mother. And stuff goes on in people’s lives and you just don’t know what you’re walking into."
As a mental health professional, Hayes says she hopes if there's anything people can learn from this tragedy: get help when you need it.
"I’m a co-owner of a mental health agency, and mental health is real," she said, "I understand through the media and in speaking with other agencies that there was some alcohol and drug abuse. And people just need to know that there’s help out there."