73-year-old woman killed while crossing busy Charlotte roadway

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A 73-year-old Charlotte woman died Thursday after police say she was struck by a car while trying to cross the street.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police were called to the intersection of Sharon Amity Road and Milton road about 12:35 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Bernice Williams Whitmire, 73, had been hit by a car as she tried to cross the street.

"She was transported to the hospital with critical injuries," said Capt. Chuck Henson about the victim's condition at the scene.

Family members say she died of internal injuries.

"She just didn't deserve to die the way she did..it's hurtful," Whitmore's son said. "Everybody is going to take a loss from this. The little kids she looks out for at the bus stop in the morning..the little one's gonna hurt. The big one's gonna hurt."

"We are suffering a loss around here. She was like family..nobody can replace Ms. Bea. She was like everyone's grandma. We adopted her and she adopted us," Neighbor China said.

Kendra Huey was operating a 2008 Suzuki Forenza traveling outbound in the 3000 block of Milton Road.

Whitmire was attempting to cross Milton Road. Whitmire walked into the path of the Suzuki Forenza and was struck, police said.

Medic responded to the crash scene and took Whitmire to Carolina's Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m.

Huey remained on the scene and cooperated with detectives.  She gave a statement and was cited for No Operators License as her license was eligible for reinstatement.

Several witnesses were interviewed at the crash scene.

Rosa Hollis, a friend of the victim, saw the accident from her balcony nearby.

"She was trying to cross the street," recalled Hollis. "It looked like the car sped up and hit her."

But Capt. Henson said their preliminary investigation shows the driver was not at fault.

"The driver is cooperating," he said. "Our indications at this time is that it was an accident.

But neighbors say the accident spotlights a larger issue: the need for a crosswalk at the busy intersection.

Hollis said Whitmire had just started getting together a petition.

CMPD says going back as far as 2007, there have been no other reports of people hit by cars here. A fatal crash happened at the intersection last year involving a school bus and car.

Charlotte Department of Transportation has no record of requests for a crosswalk or petitions for this location. But a request could be as simple as filling out a form online or calling 311.

Information will be gathered and engineers and investigators review each request. CDOT does note on its website that because of funding limitations requests are prioritized based on the several factors including the amount of foot and car traffic.

Family members and neighbors say once they've had time to grieve, they'll pick up on where Ms. Whitmire left off.

Funeral arraignments for Bernice Whitmire are still pending.

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