Police clarify details on accident involving blind pedestrian
Amanda Moss Richmond County Daily Journal
Rockingham Police Department officials provided clarification and expansion about the accident that occurred Friday in downtown Rockingham in which a blind pedestrian was struck by a vehicle.
According to the newly expanded police report made available Wednesday, John “Mark” Tyler, 58, of Rockingham, and Marjorie Terry, 63, of Hamlet, both played a role in contributing to the incident.
According to the report, Terry was driving her 1999 Buick sedan on South Lee Street across from the Richmond County Judicial Center mid-afternoon on Friday and was headed toward East Washington Street. The report indicated Terry was traveling at 15 mph. The posted speed limit is 20 mph.
As Terry crossed West Franklin Street, police said, Terry’s vehicle struck Tyler, who suffered two broken bones in his lower right leg and was transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst for treatment.
Tyler, the pedestrian with a guide dog, was cited for failure to yield the right of way. Terry, meanwhile, was cited for inattention. Police declined to elaborate on what distracted Terry.
Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said Wednesday that the purpose of any police report is to collect data for statistical analysis and subsequent highway saftey programming. The actual determinations of “fault” is the responsibility of insurers or the state’s courts.
While the report, filed by Lt. J.C. Neeley, determined that both parties contributed to the incident, Kelly referred to North Carolina General Statute Section 20-175.2. This statute regulates right-of-way at crossings, intersections and traffic control signal points for the blind.
The statute states that “at any street, road or highway crossing or intersection, where the movement of traffic is regulated by traffic control signals, blind or partially blind pedestrians shall be entitled to the right of way if such person having such cane or accompanied by a guide dog shall be partly across such crossing or intersection at the time the traffic control signals change, and all vehicles shall stop and remain stationary until such pedestrian has completed passage across the intersection or crossing.”
What is not clear is exactly when the light turned green. The report only indicates that Terry had the green light at the time Tyler was struck.
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