A hit-and-run driver spent the 2022 Fourth of July weekend at large after striking and killing a 39-year-old wife and mother in Pasquotank County, North Carolina (NC). The deadly pedestrian crash happened just west of Elizabeth City, and the deceased victim leaves behind five children.

According to NC Highway Patrol officials, the collision happened shortly after 9 pm on July 1. Emergency responders who arrived at the scene close to the intersection of Main Street Extended and Shillington Road for a woman critically injured. They transported the injured pedestrian to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, but medical personnel could not save the woman’s life.

Subsequent news reports identified the hit-and-run victim as 39-year-old Andrea Turner. She had recently married, and she had been walking with her 10-year-old daughter to watch a fireworks show.

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After days of the victim’s husband pleading for justice, a suspect turned himself into the Highway Patrol on July 5. The suspected hit-and-run driver explained that he decided not to stop because he thought he had collided with a dear. He also confirmed a public statement from investigators that he circled back past the scene of the collision to try to spot what he hit without parking or getting out of his vehicle.

The man currently faces a charge of felony hit and run causing serious injury or death. In a particularly tragic detail, the deceased pedestrian’s widow told reporters his wife’s final act was pushing her daughter out of the way of the vehicle just prior to impact.

Drivers Must Always Watch Out for Pedestrians

The intersection of Main Street Extended and Shillington Road marks the boundary where Elizabeth City opens up into the farmland of western Pasquotank County. Several family houses border this stretch of Main Street. While no sidewalks line the roadway, adults and children often use the grassy shoulder.

North Carolina state law explains that pedestrian forced to use highway or rural route shoulders should face oncoming traffic. However, section 20-174 of the North Carolina General Statutes also explains that “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.”

In all events, the driver involved in the fatal pedestrian collision committed an obvious crime by failing to stop. Even had the person struck an animal, complying with NCGS section 20-166 would require pulling over.

Having a suspect in custody gives the grieving family a chance at holding an individual criminally responsible. Knowing the identity of the hit-and-run driver will also make it easier to file and collect on wrongful death claims. Of course, neither would be necessary had the at-fault driver spotted and moved over for the mother and daughter.

EJL