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Police seek driver in hit-and-run fatality of cyclist

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Edward Hedrick III died when he was struck in a hit-and-run accident after he had fallen from his bicycle on Sunday, May 1, 2011. The crash happened about 6 a.m. on Poindexter Drive near Lawndale Road in south Charlotte, North Carolina.

The driver who hit him needs to realize: Most of the time, you can run, but you can’t hide.

Police have asked for help from the public twice on this case. People who know the driver often report the accident, after learning about his or her having a damaged vehicle.

Authorities have released the description of the hit-and-run vehicle: a silver or light-blue Toyota Tercel or Corolla. It likely has minor damage to the front end, to the lower passenger side and to the undercarriage.

You can link to the news report in the Charlotte Observer here.

This is what Detective Kevin Allred, the lead investigator in the case, had to say.

“We just would like the person that was involved in this crash to come down and talk to us, to let us know what happened. If they don’t do that, someone knows who did it and a gentleman by the name of Edward Hedrick was killed in the wreck and his family needs closure.”

Plus, police are now reviewing footage from eight traffic cameras stationed along South Boulevard, a street the driver likely traveled as he or she escaped.

Hedrick and two friends were riding their bikes on Poindexter Drive near Lawndale Road when the accident happened. When Hedrick fell and the two other riders stopped to help him, they saw a car heading for him.

They tried to wave down the car, but the driver didn’t even slow down, and hit Hedrick before he could get up.

The Toyota kept going and was last seen going down Poindexter toward South Boulevard. Hedrick died at the scene.

Hit-and-run accidents tend to follow a pattern. Simple panic is one of the first reasons a driver runs from a crash. But other factors can contribute to that panic and desire to flee. These are a few:

  • A bad driving record.
  • A suspended or revoked license.
  • A criminal record.
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  • The knowledge of the driver that he or she was at fault and driving recklessly, or while distracted, or simply too fast.

There’s no way to know at this point why the driver fled. But it’s easy to see how a person driving at 6 o’clock Sunday morning could have been heading home after a late Saturday night of partying.

Witnesses are often crucial to finding a suspect in a hit-and-run crash. The police have two witnesses who saw the whole horrible spectacle and could give a detailed description of the vehicle. Damage such as what was done to this car are hard to hide. And as Detective Allred said, “someone knows who did it.”

In the case of one crash we have written about, court records said the driver tried to get help towing her car, and also tried to hide it. Word gets out – particularly when the wreck involves a highly publicized fatality.

The reports in the Charlotte Observer say that if anyone has information about the car or its driver, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Det. Kevin Allred at 704-432-2169.

After an accident it is wise to consult an attorney. You can find more information about our firm, Egerton & Associates, at our website, http://www.egertonlaw.com/. If you have questions about legal issues in this article or in your own personal injury suffered in a wreck, call me directly for help – Lawrence Egerton, 336-273-0508, or 800-800-4LAW, or e-mail me at le@egertonlaw.com.

You will always talk to an attorney the first time you call.