A woman died in Raleigh, North Carolina (NC), after another driver ran a red light and struck her vehicle late in the afternoon of November 19, 2017. The fatal collision happened at the intersection of Louisburg Road and Calvary Drive, and the surviving driver is facing multiple charges.
Raleigh Police received the call about the wreck at 4:42 pm. Their preliminary investigation revealed that a vehicle traveling straight along Louisburg Road collided with another vehicle making a left-hand turn from Calvary Drive. Both drivers were transported to hospitals, but the woman involved succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at the medical facility.
News reports do not make it clear whether the turning driver had right of way, but it is known that police issued preliminary charges for failure to stop at stop light and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle against the person who suffered less-severe injuries. The first alleged offense is a violation of section 20-185(2)a of the North Carolina General Statutes, which states “When a traffic signal is emitting a steady red circular light controlling traffic approaching an intersection, an approaching vehicle facing the red light shall come to a stop and shall not enter the intersection.” That law does permit right turns on red at most intersections, but this crash resulted from a left turn.
Ignoring stop signals is such a serious problem that the Federal Highway Administration has joined with other national safety groups to sponsor a National Stop on Red Week each second week of September. In its 2012 announcement of the event, the agency noted,
In 2001, the last year for which these statistics are available, there were an estimated 103,000 red light running crashes in intersections. These crashes resulted in 84,000 persons injured. … The number of fatal crashes and fatalities increased 6 percent and 5 percent respectively to 1,026 fatal crashes and 1,131 fatalities. Red light running crashes exact a toll in excess of $12 billion on our economy, counting medical expenses and time lost from work.
As Carolina wrongful death attorneys who have helped several victims of red light runners, my colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family of the woman who lost her life in Raleigh. Crashes like the one at Louisburg and Calvary can often be prevented just by having one driver pay more attention and keep his or her eyes on the road ahead. When people fail to spot or obey red lights, irreversible tragedies result.