Family members have identified the man who was killed late Sunday night after he was hit by a van and his body was dragged for several blocks in the Earlewood neighborhood.
According to the family, 52-year-old Calvin G. Smith was killed in the incident.
Columbia Police say the victim was killed just before 9 p.m. Sunday when a van struck him at the 1000 block of Union Street.
Police say the incident started over an argument about a cell phone. The family tells us they yelled for the man to leave, and Calvin's sister shoved him at one point. She was knocked to the ground, getting Calvin involved.
Police say Calvin and the other man were seeing fighting behind the van and an attached trailer.
Witnesses told police that another person, possibly a Hispanic male, may have tried to break up the fight.
Moments later, police say the man got into the van and drove away from the scene.
Family members tried to get the van to stop, but they looked on in horror as Calvin was dragged underneath the van for several hundred feet.
"We'll always remember he died defending his sister and taking up for his family," said James Smith, Calvin's brother.
Investigators say one man broke free of the fight as the van was in motion. He was later found walking Columbia Avenue with severe injuries. He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
As for the van, police describe it as a blue/silver Dodge minivan with possible windshield damage. The van was also pulling an enclosed white trailer.
Investigators say they have leads in the case and are continuing to collect information.
If you have any information about this case, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
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