Driver charged in crash that killed pedestrian on 15-501 in Durham

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023
15-501 in Durham reopens after crash that killed pedestrian
A 20-year-old Durham woman faces multiple charges after a crash that killed a female pedestrian and closed US 15-501 Southbound for several hours.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A driver is facing multiple charges after a deadly crash that killed a pedestrian and closed Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard (US 15-501) Southbound for several hours on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said officers responded about 11:45 a.m. to a vehicle crash near Garrett Road and Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found a female pedestrian who had been struck by a vehicle.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Her identity has not been released.

The driver initially fled the scene but police told ABC11 that the driver later returned.

Police said Chaunesti Saunders, 20, of Durham, was driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit when she struck the woman who was crossing the roadway,

Saunders was arrested and charged with felony hit and run, misdemeanor death by vehicle, and speeding. Saunders was also served with an outstanding warrant for felony flee to elude, reckless driving, and a stoplight/stop sign violation.

She received a secured bond of $250,000 for all charges.

US 15-501 was closed from Garrett Road to SW Durham Drive but reopened about 2:30 p.m.

The crash remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator J. Rose with the Durham Police Department's Traffic and Crash Team at (919) 475-4149.