Hit and Run is a Lifetime movie that was inspired by actual events. It airs on Lifetime Movie Network today. It first aired in 1999. When researching the Hit and Run movie many years ago, I thought it sounded similar to the Jerome Brothers’ hit and run case, which happened in the 1990s. The names and locations were changed in the movie. The information below is based on my old notes. It is directed by Dan Lerner and written by Karen Stillman. Hit And Run stars Margaret Colin, Lisa Vidal, and Drew Pillsbury.
Plot: A suburban mom accidentally runs over a small child and leaves the scene.
Hit and Run True Story Lifetime Movie Possible Basis
It was in 1994 that the Philadelphia hit and run story emerged. That’s also when Alfreda McCray, a suburban mother, struck six-year-old Jerome Brothers and left the scene. Parents say the accident happened at Blaine Elementary School, where little Jerome Brothers ducked between two cars as he played with another student. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that one parent saw a woman get out of her vehicle and scream, ‘Oh, God. A little boy.” The witness said the woman then got back into her car and fled the scene.
A small mob of angry parents gathered in front of Blaine Elementary School and told police about the woman who left the scene. The news media captured several parents on tape demanding justice. The angry parents passed out fliers and flooded the community with a description of the “Hit and Run” suspect.
According to Philadelphia Daily News, investigators eventually learned the woman’s identity. It was Alfreda McCray, and authorities say she kept the secret all to herself. After the accident, Alfreda McCray told her husband to take the kids to school from then on. The next day, a parent said she recognized the car Alfreda’s husband was driving. Soon, rumors spread that a Blaine Elementary school parent had killed the boy.
Philadelphia police investigators were able to trace the car to Alfreda McCray, who claimed she was never in an accident. But the police kept their thumb on her to make her confess. They kept her under surveillance, and sometimes, they stopped her in the street to question her about the hit and run.
Alfreda McCray kept the secret for 18 months. She finally admitted that she was the one they were looking for in connection with the hit and run death of Jerome Brothers. The police wanted to know why she hadn’t come forward sooner. She told them she had every intention of confessing but panicked each time. She decided to keep her involvement a secret when she realized no one knew her real identity and that the composite sketch didn’t look like her. In June of 1996, Alfreda McCray gave a tearful apology to the Brothers family. She was convicted and given ten months house arrest and two years probation.
- The real victim died in the hospital later that evening. According to production notes: The producers could not decide whether to let the child die or to let the child live until the very last day of shooting the scene.
- Alfreda McCray had four or five children. One of the children was a special needs child. The judge felt sorry for her and didn’t have the heart to send her to jail.
- The Brothers family was livid. Jerome Brothers Sr. wanted McCray to go to jail and pay for her crime. He angrily stated in court that he did not feel she should have the chance to be with her kids when he doesn’t have his child. He called her punishment a slap on the wrist.
- The entire class cried when they learned what happened to Jerome Brothers jr.
- A local artist painted a mural on the school in the boy’s honor.
- According to sources, Jerome Brothers’ father took it hard, and they say he never got over his son’s death.
Hit and Run is produced by C.M. Two Production and Hearst Entertainment. aired on Lifetime for years. Today, it airs on Lifetime Movie Network.
[Main Image via Lifetime/Permission Granted]