Pedestrian hit in Durham

October 14, 2009 8:58:44 PM PDT
Durham police say a pedestrian was hit while trying to cross the street Wednesday morning. It happened just after 6 a.m. on U.S. 70 near Lynn Road.

Police say 64-year-old Keith Lamont Small of Durham was crossing U.S. 70 and stepped into the path of an eastbound 2005 Mazda driven by Douglas Lynn Turner of Durham.

Investigators believe he was headed to the DATA bus stop.

"When the car hit him, he rode it from the corner all the way where he landed at," Eyewitness Karen Johnson said.

She says she saw the Mazda carry Small down the street several feet before he fell off and hit the pavement.

"He was lying on his left side, facing the street," Johnson said. "He was bleeding, he was not breathing, he was not responding. His shoes were off, his stuff was all over the place. I was yelling out to him."

That's when she says Turner got out to see what happened.

"I said to him, 'you hit him, you hit him hard,' he said he knew, and I was like, 'do you have a phone, can you call 911,' and he was like, 'I can't call 911, I got to go to a phone'," Johnson said.

Johnson says she used another man's phone to call 911.

"I was telling 911, he's not breathing, he's not moving," she said. "911 said check his pulse. I checked his pulse. I didn't feel any pulse. 911 wanted me to do CPR, but I was too scared."

Small was taken from the scene unconscious with serious head injuries, and is in critical condition at Duke University Hospital.

In January 2008, Small was involved in another accident that left him in critical condition.

He was driving a Greyhound bus and rear-ended a tractor trailer near Henderson. At least 49 people were taken to the hospital after the bus overturned.

Police say no charges are likely to be filed against Turner. Investigators say his view was obstructed by a vehicle in the adjoining lane, and he did not see Small.

Investigators say speed and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the accident.

Just yesterday, ABC11 reported that North Carolina ranks in the top 10 nationwide for pedestrian fatalities. Click here to read that story.

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