In the small town known as Bunnlevel just north of Fayetteville, North Carolina an elderly lady was struck and killed by a car while crossing the road by her house. The 80-year-old woman was walking across the road in front of her home as she probably has done for years and years. However, last Saturday proved to be tragically fatal.
North Carolina State Troopers have indicated that the victim, Edna Rathi, looked right and then stepped into Anderson Creek School Road, between Blalock and Lemuel Black roads. It was at that exact moment a 2008 Toyota sedan, driven by Charles Githens, of Bunn Level, struck her from her left side.
Although not immediately killed from the impact, Rathi was transported to a local hospital where she later died of severe trauma. Apparently, Rathi was walking to her mailbox when she was hit by the oncoming vehicle in what appears to be a terrible combination of both pedestrian and driver unaware of each other. Upon early investigation of this tragedy, Troopers are discussing whether or not charges will be filed.
In reviewing many research studies involving elderly pedestrian accidents here is what we know:
- Elderly pedestrians are more often run over at a (zebra) crossing. This can be partly explained by the fact that the elderly will more often choose such a location to cross the road.
- Another factor that plays a role are the generally slower walking speed of the elderly, their longer start-up time, their being less able to distinguish approaching vehicles in the maze of the traffic surroundings.
- An elderly pedestrian is usually less able to correctly estimate the speed of approaching vehicles.
- More time is needed to notice vehicles coming from the side because of their more limited peripheral vision and their less flexible necks.
- The elderly are less able to quickly move away from a possible crash opponent because of a slower reaction time and motor limitations.
It is imperative to make sure your elderly loved one gets the proper attention and care they need. When possible, it might be a good idea to hire a part-time caregiver to assist in normal routines that might be too dangerous of a task for them now.