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Charges Brought Against 95-Year-Old man Over Smithfield, NC Pedestrian Accident Death

A 95-year-old man from Newport News, Virginia (VA), is facing charges of misdemeanor death by vehicle after he hit and killed a 73-year-old woman in a Walmart parking lot in Smithfiled, North Carolina (NC). Two other people also suffered injuries when struck by the man's pickup truck.The tragic accident occurred on October 1, 2011, near the entrance of the store on Brightleaf Blvd., ABC news reported.

The man told investigators he mistakenly hit the accelerator instead of the brake. The victims have been identified as Lois Shannon, 73, Debra Holmes, 53, and Jeanna Holley, 35, all of Smithfield.

As experienced Virginia, North Carolina accident injury attorneys, my colleagues and I see many cases of small mistakes that lead to tragic consequences. It may be an improper lane change such as the one that led to the death of Marcia Wickline, 61 of Mount Airy, NC. Or perhaps a split-second error can be caused by distracted driving, such as the case in Suffolk, VA last year when a distracted driver was traveling westbound on Holland Road when she became distracted by the radio and ran off the road to the left.

If a small mistake leads to a death there can be a case for a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Walmart tragedy also raises questions about elderly drivers. In 2009 we reported on a case in Raleigh, NC, when an 83-year-old woman driving an SUV killed a 6-year-old girl as she got off a school bus. That accident reignited an ongoing debate about the safety of senior and elderly drivers in North Carolina. Rep. William McGee, a Forsyth County Republican, said the accident would not have taken place if the state shortened license renewal terms for those over 75 and mandated road tests for elderly drivers.

DM

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