Police search for driver involved in fatal hit-and-run on M-59

Reward offered for information leading to arrest of driver

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 1, 2022


The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is hoping the public may have information to help identify the driver of a fatal hit-and-run crash that happened Saturday, Oct. 29, in Rochester Hills.

Deputies believe the driver of an Audi Q7 hit 30-year-old Sarah Ratliff, of Davison, as the car was entering westbound M-59 from Adams Road at approximately 2:21 a.m., then fled the scene. 

According to reports, Ratliff died a short time later at a hospital. 

The hit-and-run crash, deputies said, happened minutes after an altercation in a separate vehicle between two men.

Ratliff was a passenger in a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck when a male passenger in the backseat allegedly attempted to choke the driver as the car was headed westbound on M-59. 

The driver of the car, a 31-year-old man from Otter Lake, reportedly stopped the truck in an area off of M-59, near the on-ramp onto M-59 from Adams Road, and he and Ratliff fled.

Ratliff was then struck by the driver of the Audi, about 100 feet from the truck, according to reports.

The Audi is an unknown color and is believed to be model year 2017-2019. Deputies said it has front-end damage, which likely includes damage to the lower portion of the front grille.

“It’s absolutely unconscionable that a person could run over another human being and drive off like nothing happened,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. “We need the public’s help to hold this individual accountable.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP. Crime Stoppers pays a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters remain anonymous.

A 41-year-old man from Metamora — who allegedly tried to choke the driver of the Silverado from the backseat — was arrested and was expected to be arraigned on a felonious assault charge, after press time. He identified himself as Ratliff’s boyfriend.

Anyone with information on the crash or the vehicle involved can call the Sheriff’s Office at (248) 858-4954.