Pedestrian hit in uptown crosswalk; no citation issued to driver

Charlotte woman asking why CMPD did not follow North Carolina law regarding pedestrian right of way.
Pedestrian hit while using a crosswalk on Charlotte street
Published: Aug. 5, 2023 at 9:46 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte woman was walking her dog in uptown when she crossed the street at a crosswalk and was hit by a car, sending her to the hospital. Police responded but did not issue the driver a citation for not yielding to a pedestrian.

The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. July 3.

“As I was waiting to cross the street, I got the pedestrian light and proceeded to go into the intersection across, and out of nowhere, just I heard tire screeching and I was on the ground next thing I knew,” Ashawanda Martin said. Martin said she has crossed that intersection more times than she can count because she works in uptown.

She said the pedestrian crosswalk light indicated it was her turn to walk.

Martin said, “I just remember landing on my right side. And my shoes were on the opposite side of the street. Gracie (my dog) had taken off, and she ran into the park. There were pedestrians that stopped the car and started yelling, ‘You just hit her; you just hit her!’”

Martin was rushed to the hospital and learned she had multiple internal injuries that would require surgery. But she said when she was released, she did not understand why the driver who hit her was not cited.

“(The officer) returned my call and told me that CMPD does not investigate accidents, that they leave it to the insurance companies to handle,” Martin said. “I was shocked. I was struck by the SUV. I’m a pedestrian, and any place in America if you’re a pedestrian and you get hit by a vehicle, the logical thing is that that driver is cited for failure to yield or some other charges.”

Charlotte attorney Tim Emry said CMPD should have issued the driver a ticket.

“In North Carolina, (it) does not matter; a pedestrian absolutely has the right of way if they’re in a crosswalk,” he said. “It (is) only as reasonable and it is only fair that the driver should be expected to be held to that same standard and ought to be held accountable.”

Emry said CMPD not citing the driver in this accident is inconsistent with other traffic incidents.

“They never hesitate to charge drivers in accidents with other drivers even though they know that insurance is going to handle it, and ultimately the traffic ticket will be dismissed, you know, once insurance takes care of the claim, they still write a citation for unsafe movement you commonly see,” Emry said.

WBTV reached out to CMPD to find out why a citation was not issued. WBTV is still waiting to hear back.

Martin’s friends started a GoFundMe to help her with her medical bills from the accident.

She said, “They thought that it was just a bruised rib. After further testing, there was a lot of internal damages as well as broken ribs that will require surgery in the next coming weeks ... some possible hip issues as well from landing so hard on my right side.”