It’s hard to imagine the shock of receiving a phone call informing you that your loved one was killed in a car accident. It’s even harder to imagine how shocking it would be to learn that your loved one was hit by a car while taking a mid-day stroll on the sidewalk of a tree-lined residential street.

On July 13, 66-year-old Virginia Senechal’s family received that grim call. According to, Ms. Senechal was walking on a sidewalk alongside Kimberly Avenue around noon when a man lost control of his vehicle and fatally struck her.



The driver has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving.

Kimberly Avenue is a popular street for locals to run, stroll, and walk dogs. It has sidewalks on both sides and portions have a bike lane as well. It is also a popular street for drivers. Despite the 25 mph speed limit and hills that hinder visibility, area residents say many vehicles speed and even ignore a pedestrian crosswalk.

The city has conducted a traffic survey of the road in response to a neighborhood petition asking it to do something to make Kimberly Avenue safer for pedestrians. Vehicle-pedestrian accidents have been on the rise for several years, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that Asheville is the most dangerous city in the state for pedestrians.

I don’t think any pedestrian walking on a sidewalk foresees being hit by a car. People on foot are supposed to walk on sidewalks to be off dangerous roads. If a sidewalk isn’t a safe place for someone to walk, what is? I sincerely hope the city implements more safety precautions to protect people walking in designated pedestrian areas.

My thoughts are with Ms. Senechal’s family during this difficult time. I’m sure the shock that follows such an unexpected loss is overwhelming. A family whose loved one was the victim of a fatal vehicle-pedestrian accident should contact a North Carolina wrongful death lawyer to discuss a possible claim for compensation for the expenses and emotional pain the negligent driver caused.