As her stepfather watched, the 11-year-old Northwest Elementary School student crossed N.C. Hwy. 150 North to collect the mail. The last thing he told her was to watch the road. It was just after 6 p.m. when the child was struck and killed in the North Carolina hit-and-run accident. Her body was thrown about 50 feet. The driver continued without braking, the dispatch.com reports.
One in five pedestrian fatalities is caused by a hit-and-run accident and 90 percent of incidents involve a single vehicle. Most accidents occur at non-intersections or on city streets, according to the National Traffic Safety Administration.
In the U.S. a pedestrian is killed because of a car accident every 107 minutes. Pedestrian fatalities are most common during Autumn as kids head back to school and adults and children alike enjoy the last weeks of nice weather. In 2006, 173 pedestrians died on North Carolina roadways after being struck by a car. Charlotte pedestrian accidents claimed 15 lives.
According to police reports, the 19-year-old driver was speeding – about 9 m.p.h. over the posted limit of 50 m.p.h. – and was located within four hours of the fatal accident. She was driving a 2002 Acura that sustained significant front-end damage. The investigation is ongoing and she has not yet been charged.
The family reported that the child was taken off life support about 24 hours after the accident. Aside from her parents and grandparents, she leaves behind a five-year-old brother and a baby due in five weeks.
If you walk, jog or stroll alongside North Carolina roadways, here are a few simple tips from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center that can help you stand out and potentially save your life:
~ Don’t jaywalk. In other words, before crossing the street, think like you are behind the wheel and follow traffic laws and signage instructions. Use designated crosswalks. Don’t walk on the freeway.
~ Be visible. Wear light colors and retro-reflective material. If it’s dark – use a flashlight.
~ Pay attention, and act like drivers are not. When possible, make eye contact with drivers before entering a roadway to help communicate your intention.
Charlotte car accident attorneys with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious car accident, or losing a loved one in a fatal car crash, can be among the most trying times in your life. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.