Dependable Erection

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Of course not

If you get hit by a car and killed crossing the street in Durham, it's always your own damn fault.
A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle early this morning while trying to cross U.S. 15-501 at Mount Moriah Road, Durham police said.

Eric Franklin Simpson, 27, of Estes Drive in Carrboro, was crossing the highway toward New Hope Commons Shopping Center when he was hit by a vehicle driven by Vernon Chris Worley, 31, of Mebane. Worley was in the far left eastbound lane.

. . .

No other details were available. The investigation is continuing, but investigators said no charges were expected. Anyone who saw the accident is asked to call Investigator Larry Cox at 560-4935, extension 29409.

Mrs D left this comment earlier:
Wow, this week I've stopped traffic, including cabs and buses, on busy multi-lane streets just by setting one foot in the crosswalk.

OH WAIT! I'm in San Francisco, not Durham. Oops.



  • When I suggested that just a 'failure to yield' citation would make sense and then that maybe negligence and manslaughter were not outside the realms of consideration I was told we shouldn't 'rush to judgement'.


    By Blogger skvidal, at 2:19 AM  

  • The investigation is continuing, but investigators said no charges were expected. That doesn't constitute a rush to judgment?

    By Blogger Barry, at 4:55 AM  

  • We'd never need a crosswalk at that intersection. No one would ever have a need to cross it on foot. Oh, and don't even think about pedestrian-actuated signals.

    Why does DOT and the city want to turn every road into an expressway? This is ridiculous and unacceptable.

    By Blogger Rob, at 7:20 AM  

  • what is fucking UNREAL is the no charges bit. And the fact that they keep saying "it was was dark..." WTF?! That doesnt mean there wasnt a damned streetlight on at a major thoroughfare! AAA!

    By Blogger Vera, at 8:56 AM  

  • Setting aside the issue of whether the driver was in any way liable, this is a tragedy all around. His life will never be the same and I can't imagine waking up each day and being face with the reality that I had killed someone.

    What is distressing to me is that based on comments that other have made in the news websites, his body remained in the middle of the intersection for maybe even two hours (?) and that there wasn't a screen set up or even police cars parked around him so that those driving by wouldn't be able to see it!? Is anybody looking into this with the Durham PD? I'm so thankful that I wasn't driving through there with my child in the car.

    Anyway, thoughts & prayers to his family. I was in that B&N enough to know who he was.

    By Blogger suze, at 10:02 AM  

  • This is insane. If someone is driving the speed limit and a pedestrian cross illegally, tell me in how you rationalize its the drivers fault?

    Physics mandate that a 1 ton vehicle needs x amount of space to come to a complete stop.

    So next time that kamikaze squirrel darts in front of my car, its my fault? What, i should go forward in time to anticipate said squirrelyness?

    If the pedestrian was crossing illegally the driver in no way should be charged with anything. Like Suze said, they are burdened with the guilt of taking someones life. Charging them with a crime would be immoral in this instance.

    If anything, the city should be cited for lack of pedestrian safety. It's ridiculous the lack of sidewalks and crossing signals in this town.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 3:18 PM  

  • 1 - we do not know if the pedestrian was crossing "illegally" whatever that might mean at an intersection like this.

    2 - under most circumstances, the pedestrian will have the right of way when crossing an intersection like this.

    3 - if you've ever lived in a city where pedestrian rights are enforced, and where drivers are acculturated to giving pedestrians the right of way under virtually every circumstance, you would have a really difficult time adjusting to the way pedestrians are treated in Durham

    re: your point about sidewalks and crosswalks. Yes, we need more of them. but we also need drivers to respect the ones we have. I worked for two years to get a crosswalk painted at Knox and Roxboro, which includes a pedestrian activated flashing signal. Barely one car in 20 will yield when a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk. The unwillingness of the Durham Police Department to issue citations for this violation does not help in reducing its frequency.

    By Blogger Barry, at 3:32 PM  

  • Barry, I lived in Los Angeles and Atlanta for a combined 20 years. Both cities are terribly dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and otherwise. However I would say Durham is even more dangerous because few here are actually accustomed to inner city driving. Couple that with the massive outward development and lack of sidewalks and ped lights. However in Los Angeles be sure that jaywalking laws are enforced. There are a variety of ways one can cross illegally. You are illegally crossing if you are crossing in the middle of the block that is you arent not crossing corner to corner. You are illegally crossing if you are walking when it says don't walk. Crossing a 6 lane highway like the 15-501 at that intersection is dangerous enough as it is. If the guy was crossing without the traffic lights in his favor, seeing as how it was barely light out, its hard to blame the driver in this case. its an awful accident for all involved, but pedestrians have much great stopping capacity and view than someone inside a vehicle travelling at 45mph. the responsibility has to fall on the pedestrian.

    So let me ask you, when some one hits a illegal alien crossing interstate 5 just outside of San Diego, is the driver at fault? Considering a pedestrian could cause a driver to swerve and cause a much greater accident, isnt it possible a pedestrian could actually be at fault for a death?

    By Blogger Patrick, at 3:51 PM  

  • Pedestrians are, of course, banned from being on the interstates; so the immigration status of your hypothetical pedestrian is irrelevant.

    I don't think i ever said that a pedestrian could never be at fault. However, i think you are mistaken in describing a mid-block crossing as illegal. It may be jaywalking in some cases, but certainly not all. Hell, there's even a crosswalk mid block on Ninth Street, and several near Brightleaf Square. Even those crosswalks, marked as they are with signs reminding drivers that state law requires them to yield right of way to pedestrians, often see people stuck in the middle waiting to finish crossing as drivers are not stopping for them.

    all i've said is that in Durham, it's always the pedestrian's fault when they get injured or killed. The police seem to agree, even before the investigation is complete.

    I would also respectfully submit that there is a great difference between carrying guilt around for the rest of your life because you hit a pedestrian, and being dead.

    By Blogger Barry, at 4:07 PM  

  • There are some things we don't know. However, one thing is certain. That intersection doesn't even have striped crosswalks. This is terrible. We have two *major* shopping centers across the street from eachother, and no way to get back and forth.

    I wonder if any witnesses bothered to stop. We may never know whether the pedestrian was crossing with the lights in his favor.

    Also, in my experience, very few "squirrely pedestrians" actually exist. There are countless times where I've crossed Erwin Rd with a green light in my favor, and some jackass rolls through the red light to make a right turn, nearly hits me, and then has the cajones to honk at me as if I'm some "squirrely pedestrian".

    I wish DPD would enforce traffic laws.

    By Blogger Rob, at 6:14 PM  

  • "Worley was in the far left lane when the accident happened, police said."

    Wouldn't that be the turn lane?

    By Blogger Barry, at 6:27 PM  

  • If you were the driver who ran over another human being, but didn't get charged with any sort of traffic violation at all...would you feel lucky or guilty about it?

    By Blogger Paula, at 4:30 PM  

  • Without knowing the particulars of this situation, I'm still putting blame squarely on NC-DOT, simply because of how many close calls I've had in this area. Many times if I have to work late in Chapel Hill, or simply visiting friends there, I'm coming down 15-501 at 50 mph. There have been several times where there have been pedestrians in dark clothing walking inside the curbs on the lanes at some of the narrowest points, whom I've had to swerve to avoid. Obviously, walking down 15-501 in dark clothing is dumb, but there are a number of apartment complexes in the area, and sad to say, it's one of the few places that you can get a cheap apartment and walk to a service job in Durham. What do we expect these folks to do?

    Of all the arguments I can make about bike/ped stuff and public transit, the core one is this -- if you decide not to take a car, you should not have to sacrifice your safety and dignity. DOT seems to disagree.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 6:04 PM  

  • Pedestrians? On an NCDOT road?

    An afterthought at best.

    If you can't afford a car, stay home.

    By Blogger Barry, at 6:15 PM  

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