FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A pedestrian was critically injured after getting hit by a vehicle Tuesday morning in Fayetteville and a road was shut down as a result, police said.
Officers responded to a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian — later identified as 61-year-old Jonathan Hair — at approximately 6:27 a.m. on N. Eastern Boulevard between Grove and Link streets. Once on scene, emergency personnel transported Hair to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in critical condition.
The southbound lanes of N. Eastern Boulevard were closed between Grove and Person streets as police conducted their investigation. The road was closed through the morning commute, police said.
“The preliminary investigation has revealed that Hair stepped off the center median and into the vehicle travel lanes,” a news release said. That’s when he was hit by the vehicle driven by 28-year-old Bradley Crete.
“He was drug up, maybe 50-75 feet, and that’s I could see. And police came and got him from underneath the car,” said witness Donald Freeman.
Freeman said he was hit trying to cross in a crosswalk just last week.
“You’re not ready for something to come that close to you and hit you. The car, side of the car, mirror hit me and knocked me down,” Freeman said.
He walked away with a scraped knee. But, back in January another man, Joe Newman, was hit and killed in the same area while he was trying to cross the street in his wheelchair.
Police say that deadly crash is one of four deadly pedestrian crashes in the city this year alone. Nearby workers say they’re not surprised because there are a lot of people in the area who spend a lot of time in the streets.
“Some people just stand in the middle right there and hold up a sign that might say ‘homeless’ or ‘hungry’ or something,” said Waymon Gainey.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports more than 600 pedestrian crashes in a nine-year period. Most of them are concentrated in three of Fayetteville’s busiest streets: Raeford Road, Skibo Road, and Grove Street near Highway 301.
Police didn’t say whether Crete will face any charges in connection with Tuesday’s collision, which remains under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding the traffic crash is asked to contact Officers with the Fayetteville Police Department’s Traffic Unit at (910) 433-1807 or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477). Crimestoppers information can also be submitted electronically, by visiting http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org and completing the anonymous online tip sheet.
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