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80-year-old woman charged in motorcyclist's death

Posted September 10, 2010

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— Police on Friday charged an 80-year-old woman in the death of a motorcyclist in Cary last month.

Doris Yates Upchurch, of Carpenter Upchurch Road, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to yield right-of-way in connection with an Aug. 24 collision that killed Tomoichi Martin Cummings.

Cummings, 54, was northbound on Davis Drive when Upchurch's southbound SUV turned left onto Waldo Rood Boulevard in front of Cummings' motorcycle, police said.

Upchurch wasn't injured in the wreck.


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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Sep 16, 2010

    "TBN - Bless her heart, she could be my grandmother. I know she hates this as much as ANYONE.

    How do you know that? There are a lot mean-sprited crabby old ladies in this world. Not saying that is the case with this lady, but we have no idea how she feels about this. Would we be saying the same thing if an 18-24 year-old hit an 80 yr-old old lady & killed her?"

    First of all, it's TBK, not TBN. TBN sounds like a TV network.

    Secondly, that wasn't my point. My point was not that this was a sweet old lady. My point was she most likely doesn't belong on the road.

  • Iworkforaliving Sep 14, 2010

    dianeantonelli, I have a feeling that if she were 20 instead of 80, you would be singing a different tune. Let's leave her age out of it. She was a driver who made a mistake, and someone died, she must be held responsible. I'm not saying take her out back and shoot her, but definitely not saying give her a hug and tell her "it'll be ok, we know you didn't mean to" just because she's old and looks like my granny.

  • ncitalian4 Sep 13, 2010

    I think people are very very brave, rude and uncaring behind the security of a keyboard and an annon name. Shame on you! What if YOUR mother, grandmother, sister, or wife was involved in an accident such as this? How would you feel reading horrible comments about her from people who don't know her? I too feel bad for everyone involved. Mrs. Upchurch is neither evil nor uncaring. Keeping both families in my prayers.

  • Surrey Hills Sep 10, 2010

    This is a terrible accident that happened. I feel bad for everyone involved. This lady owns millions of dollars worth of land. Look at the Wake County Tax website. I am sure that the family of the deceased will receive a hefty settlement on this one.

  • seriously5 Sep 10, 2010

    Ok this has gotten way out of hand. All of you commenting on this have made a huge deal about something that happens everyday. You guys act like you are on a witch hunt. Trying to stand for her or trying to throw her to the sharks. It really isn't any of our business. Police either do something or not. I'm not on her side or the side of the victim's family. Oh and if you constantly comment on this, we need to find you a job. Just because you feel so strongly, don't push it on other people. Now you can comment back and talk a bunch of stuff to me, but honestly I made this account to let you know that you need to stop going crazy over this. It has nothing to do with you.

  • 3779LRRP Sep 10, 2010

    As with many accidents between a vehicle and motorcycle, the lady just did not see him. Same scenerio happens with drivers of less age. Pay attention to the two wheelers drivers!

  • soyousay Sep 10, 2010

    tis..She will grieve that man's death for the rest of her life

    maybe, but you don't know there. It is no stretch however to say his family is forever without him

  • soyousay Sep 10, 2010

    Highlighting the reality of fatality statistics for older drivers, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publication reported, "In 1997, older people made up 9 percent of the resident population but accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 17 percent of all pedestrian fatalities." NHTSA summarized 1997 highway statistics for older drivers in "Traffic Safety Facts 1997: Older Population" (DOT HS 808 769). The publication reported that: "On the basis of estimated annual travel, the fatality rate for drivers 85 and over is nine times as high as the rate for drivers 25 through 69 years old..in that study..
    in another:
    A NHTSA study of 1995 FARS (Fatal Accident Reporting System) data reports that senior citizens accounted for:

    5% of all people injured in traffic crashes
    13% of all traffic fatalities
    13% of all vehicle occupant fatalities
    18% of all pedestrian fatalities

    and there is more, easily found. But the succinct numbers I am still looking for.

  • tictock Sep 10, 2010

    She will grieve that man's death for the rest of her life, but the good thing is that God has already forgiven her because it's not like she did it on purpose!

  • rescuefan Sep 10, 2010

    "not really or there would be total mayhem on the roads. Elderly drivers kill more people than 17 year olds...data's out there if you wish to find it

    Please, since you are the one to claim this, provide the data.