Pedestrians struck in separate mishaps

Published 8:24 am Thursday, January 22, 2015

Two pedestrians are lucky to be alive after being struck in separate vehicle accidents on Jan. 16.

In Murfreesboro, a town Public Works worker was struck by a vehicle early Friday morning on US 158-Business near RiverviewSchool.

According to Trooper J.S. Archer of the North Carolina Highway Patrol who investigated the incident, Darrell Gatling, 42, of Mapleton, was struck by a 2007 Chevrolet driven by Belinda Futrell, 23, of Murfreesboro.

Trooper Archer says Gatling was part of a town maintenance crew finishing repairs on a ruptured water main when the accident occurred.

According to Murfreesboro town Public Works Director Gene Byrd, one of the town’s water mains had ruptured sometime late on Jan. 13 and city workers were dispatched to repair the line.

The workers finished the water line repairs around 11 p.m. the same day, but because of the inclement weather were forced to wait until a later time to fill in the hole in the street.  The workers were in the process of filling in the hole Friday when the accident occurred.

Futrell told Trooper Archer she was trying to change lanes at approximately 7:55 a.m. and go around the construction site when she struck Gatling. She was cited for reckless driving.

Gatling was transported by Hertford County Emergency personnel to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, but later had to be taken by ambulance to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville because the EastCare helicopter was unable to take off and land in Ahoskie for medical transport due to the heavy Friday morning fog.

Trooper Archer says he has since spoken with Gatling, but there is no official update on his condition.

Also on Jan. 16, a pedestrian was struck in a different vehicular accident in Bertie County.

Trooper A.S. Genao says that at approximately 5:26 p.m. on that date, Valeria Bell, 34, of Rich Square was traveling west on NC 308 approximately 3.2 miles west of Lewiston when she struck 19-year-old pedestrian Denzel Monger of Kelford.

Bell told the officer she swerved her vehicle, a 2000 Honda, to the left in an attempt to avoid striking Monger, but the man, who was also traveling west, but on foot, ran instead toward the vehicle and was struck in the eastbound lane.

According to the Highway Patrol, neither the driver of the vehicle nor the pedestrian were cited in the incident as both were believed to have contributed to the accident.

Bell was not injured, but Monger was later treated at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie.  There’s been no further word on his condition.