Another celebration turns into a tragedy in the Triad this weekend as the birthday party for 2 year old Andre Wright is cut short when he is struck by a passing car. Driver Maurice Belser hit the toddler as he drove down Amos Street in High Point Saturday night. He was charged with careless and reckless driving and assault with a deadly weapon.
Witnesses say that the young victim had darted into the road after a balloon. Maurice Belser also told WFMY News 2 that he could not see the boy due to all the cars parked along the road. Family members report yelling for the driver to slow down as he approached, but it was of no use.
The boy’s mother, Sieddha Breeden, does not put as much blame on the driver as the police did. "I can’t put all the blame on him because Andre ran into the road himself, and it was dark at night," she told News 2.
Luckily the boy was released form the hospital Monday and is expected to recover.
Parked cars and dark streets make for a dangerous mix. Pedestrians are often struck by motorists because they emerged quickly from behind or between parked cars. Many drivers simply do not have time to react. There was clearly negligence on the part of the driver in this situation, and drivers need to remember it is important to drive with extra caution when the roadside is dotted with parked vehicles.
The NHTSA reports that the majority of pedestrian deaths occur at non-intersections, with vehicles traveling at higher speeds. When a driver isn’t expecting to see a pedestrian they are less likely to react in time.
The message? Always expect a pedestrian. Because that parked van could have a child behind it, and that child might not be as lucky as Andre.