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Don't walk signThree people are dead, and a fourth has been hospitalized with head trauma following 4 separate North Carolina pedestrian accidents this weekend.

Just before midnight Saturday, 27 year old Chandra Phuyel was killed when hit by a minivan as he tried to cross Central Avenue. Phuyel, who emigrated to the United States in March as part of the US Refugee Resettlement Program was reported as being deaf and mute, and is survived by his wife and three year old son.

Shortly thereafter, Preston Lee Ward was killed just after midnight Saturday, in a hit-and-run. Lincolnton Police have arrested 35 year old Amber Kirby and have charged her with Driving While Impaired, Driving with License Revoked, Felony Death by Vehicle, and Felony Hit-and-Run. Kirby has a multitude of prior criminal charges, including 3 prior charges for Driving While Impaired, 2 prior charges for Felony Cocaine Possession, Marijuana Possession, Assault on a Government Employee, and Resisting Arrest.

Early Monday morning, the body of Jerry Michael Blanchard of Indian Trail was found in the median of US74, apparently the victim of a hit-and-run.

In a second pedestrian accident in the early hours Monday morning, the unidentified victim survived after stepping into the path of an oncoming car on Albemarle Road. The unidentified pedestrian was seen exiting a nightclub around 1:30am, and attempting to cross Albemarle Road, presumably to go to another nightclub across the street, when he stepped in front of an oncoming car. The man was thrown 8 feet in the air, and was hospitalized at CMC with head trauma.

All four of these pedestrian accidents confirm NHTSA (National Traffic Highway Safety Administration) findings. In 2009, NHTSA concluded a study of pedestrian fatalities which found that nearly 70% of fatal pedestrian accidents occur at night, nearly 70% of pedestrians killed were male, and almost half occurred on the weekend (defined as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

Pedestrians have a duty to obey the rules of the road and to cross only at intersections, to look both ways before crossing, and to comply with any crosswalk directional signs. In at least 3 out of the 4 accidents described above, the pedestrian failed to keep a proper lookout. As a pedestrian, you are most vulnerable to serious injury or death. An experienced attorney can provide advice and evaluate your case if you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian.

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