Pedestrian killed; driver sought

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 9, 2007

WINDSOR – For the second time over a span four days, a pedestrian has lost their life in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

The latest fatality occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday on the Mourning Road (RP 1519) in Bertie County. There, Turner Gilliam, 40, of Robersonville was struck and killed at 4:25 a.m. at which time he was allegedly lying in the roadway.

The operator of the vehicle that struck Gilliam did not stop, leading officials with the local office of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol seeking assistance in identifying that driver.

“Our preliminary investigation leads us to believe that the pedestrian was lying in the roadway when struck by an unknown vehicle,” Sgt. Todd Lane of the Troop A, District II Highway Patrol office in Ahoskie said.

Sgt. Lane added no eyewitnesses have yet to come forward.

“We are seeking information from the public that may assist us in our investigation,” Sgt. Lane said. “The victim in this case was wearing dark clothing and lying on a rural road in the pitch dark. The driver whose vehicle struck the victim may not know they struck something in the road.”

Bertie County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman and four Bertie Sheriff’s deputies assisted the Highway Patrol at the scene.

Pittman said Gilliam was struck in the 200 block of Mourning Road, located off Woodard Road approximately five miles south of Windsor. He added there were residences located across the road from where the victim was struck.

Gilliam’s body was transported to Greenville for an autopsy, according to Pittman.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Trooper Jason Jones at 332-6800.

Early last Thursday morning, Jesse Thaddious Matthews Jr. of Gatesville was stuck and killed as he walked along a stretch of RP 1413 (Sandy Cross Road) in southeastern Gates County.

According to a report filed by North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Noble, Matthews, 44, had earlier wrecked his vehicle on Hobbs Road and, as a pedestrian, was 1.2 miles from that accident scene when he was killed.

While walking west on Sandy Cross Road, Matthews was struck by a 1985 Ford pick-up truck operated by Daniel Lee Hobbs, 19, of Hobbsville. The truck was traveling west on Sandy Cross Road at the time of impact.

The two pedestrian deaths brought the number to 13 of highway related fatalities this year in the Highway Patrol’s Troop A, District II area (Bertie, Gates and Hertford counties).