Two children were struck and killed by an unlicensed driver while crossing a busy, five-lane road with their babysitter on a Thursday night. The babysitter suffered injuries, while the children, ages 10 and five, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities are investigating the tragedy, which involved a 20-year-old driver who struck all three pedestrians crossing near an intersection (but not in it). There is a traffic signal but no pedestrian crosswalk at that intersection. The speed limit on Fairview Road, where the fatal crash occurred, is 45 mph, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. The driver was arrested on the scene for not having a valid state driver’s license and for driving with no operator’s license. Still, investigators say it is unlikely he will face additional charges. There is no indication he was speeding or under the influence of drug or alcohol. Furthermore evidence indicates the driver’s traffic light was green at the time he proceeded through the intersection. He struck the trio shortly after passing through it, investigators believe.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released in May, there were 4,884 pedestrians killed and 65,000 injured nationally in traffic crashes in 2014. On average, that meant a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes. A quarter of these occurred from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – which is precisely when this incident happened. The babysitter, whom family describe as “like a grandmother” to the children, was walking them to a local Subway restaurant in a nearby plaza to get some dinner.