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Tragedy Shows Why NC Drivers Must Stop at Every Crash

A hit-and-run collision claimed the life of a North Carolina pedestrian in a rural part of Cumberland County. A man who was later identified and brought into custody based on vehicle debris left near the deceased woman’s body explained that he drove off because he did not realize he had struck another person.

 

 

The deadly crash happened either late on the night of May 10 or very early on the morning of May 11, 2018. The woman, named in multiple news reports as 34-year-old Agatha Lynn Spoltore, had been walking along Clinton Road outside of the town of Vander. A bus driver spotted her body in a ditch near Bladen Circle hours later.

Tragic outcomes like this one are precisely why the laws of North Carolina require every driver involved in any kind of crash on a public highway to stop. The man who hit the woman on Clinton Road east of Fayetteville admitted that he knew he had hit something. Had he complied with state statutes, stopped, and gotten out of his car, he would have discovered that he had struck a person and possibly have called for lifesaving medical treatment. He might still face charges for hitting the pedestrian in that scenario depending on several factors, but he must now definitely will get charged with leaving the scene of an accident and possibly with the North Carolina equivalent of vehicular homicide.

Questions will arise whether the woman who lost her life contributed to causing her own fatal injuries by walking in the roadway. Along the stretch where this deadly crash happened, Clinton Road has two lanes and very narrow shoulders that drop off into ditches. If she was complying with the part of the North Carolina General Statutes that permits people to walk along highways that lack sidewalks as long as they face oncoming traffic and stay as far to the left as possible, she might not have any civil legal responsibility for the crash.

Findings from the investigation done by the Highway Patrol will play a major role in determining whether the family of the deceased pedestrian can file wrongful death claims against the hit-and-run driver. One of the first things an experienced Carolina wrongful death attorney could help the family do is access the full report and arrange for an independent analysis of evidence. A dedicated and caring plaintiff’s lawyer would also handle all communications with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which will probably apply pressure to the family to accept a minimal or inadequate settlement for the loss of their loved one..

EJL

Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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