A lot of people in Greensboro have stories about almost being hit by a car while they were trying to walk across the street. Unfortunately, not every encounter between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle is a near miss.
Compounding the pain and suffering of a pedestrian accident is when the driver flees the scene instead of stopping and rendering aid. And this threat to public safety is getting worse locally.
Police recently told FOX8 that Greensboro had 52 hit-and-run pedestrian collisions last year. To compare, there were 49 such incidents in 2019 and 46 the year before that. Clearly, the danger is not going away.
Few people have fast enough reactions to dodge a motor vehicle driving 30, 40 or 50 mph through an intersection. Someone who uses a wheelchair would have virtually no chance to escape. Sadly, this is exactly what happened to a local man earlier this month.
Driver hits man in a wheelchair, leaves the scene
The man was crossing the street around 10:45 pm when a car struck him. Rather than stop, the driver sped away, leaving the man badly injured in the middle of the road. His girlfriend later said the man suffered three broken bones in his back.
In a sad irony, this was not the first serious pedestrian accident this man has been through. He lost his leg in a similar incident last July. Now he faces another long recovery from an injury that could leave him with another permanent disability.
Pedestrians must be kept safe
We don’t know the details of what happened in this particular case. But we do know that North Carolina law places a duty of care on drivers to take reasonable steps to avoid harming pedestrians. This includes driving at the speed limit, stopping at red lights and stop signs, and yielding to individuals in crosswalks.