Local News

Driver charged with pedstrian's death on Saunders

Posted May 6, 2008
Updated May 8, 2008

— The driver who caused a chain-reaction accident that killed a pedestrian has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.


The victim, described only as a man in his early 60s, was transported to a nearby hospital shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday with life-threatening injuries. His name was not released pending notification of his next of kin.

Investigators said two vehicles were involved in the crash at the 1700 block of South Saunders Street. A Toyota had stopped to let the man cross a parking-area driveway when a Kia driven by Janechka Richards Nunn failed to slow, hitting the Toyota from behind, pushing it through a turn and into the pedestrian, police said.

Nunn's charges were upgraded Thursday after the pedstrian died of his injuries.


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  • DontAnnoyMe May 8, 2008

    As we don't know all the facts, we can't assume the Kia driver was on the phone. There are many other distractions out there on the roads.

    The key points to take away from this tragedy are:

    1. pay attention


    2. don't turn your wheels until you start moving into a turn - *especially if you're turning left at a busy intersection*.

  • TomLynda May 8, 2008

    As usual WRAL does a lousy job of getting the facts.

    According to a police report, Lisa Johnson Lewis, 28, of Kenly was turning into a parking lot off South Saunders Street when she stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the lot's entrance. When she stopped, the report states, the Kia Sedona minivan behind her did not, sending her Toyota 4Runner barreling over the pedestrian.

    In short, Lisa did exactly what she was supposed to do and was letting the pedestrian cross and not hit him. The Kia was ignoring the fact that she was turning, probably close to tailgating and wham! Now we have a person dead because some idiot was driving like they owned the road and flat out not paying 100% attention. If you are talking on a phone, headset or not, you cannot pay 100% attention to the job of driving. If you think you can try doing that when you go to get your license if you have to take a road test. See what the examiner does then.

  • mramorak May 8, 2008

    Most folks in the triangle will run you over no matter what!

  • DontAnnoyMe May 7, 2008

    LocalYokel is right. The article states: "..Kia failed to slow, hitting the Toyota from behind, pushing it through a turn and into the pedestrian".

  • sggoodri May 7, 2008

    Rational Thinking wrote:
    "I think the driver that stopped in the road (if I am reading this correctly) should be charged. I understand being nice, but IF the driver was stopped at a green light, or in the middle of the road, he/she should be charged. That's dangerous. Other drivers don't expect you to be stopped at a green light."

    Drivers often are required to stop in the middle of the road and at green lights such as when:

    - Waiting for pedestrians to clear the crosswalk before turning right.
    - Waiting for stopped or congested traffic ahead of them
    - Following the directions of a police officer or crossing guard
    - Waiting for oncoming traffic to clear before turning left
    - Preparing to pull into on-street parking

    and so forth.

    All drivers must be prepared to stop their vehicles when other drivers ahead of them stop.

  • colliedave May 7, 2008

    She must have plowed her car into the one in front of her's. Must not have even attempted to stop,

  • HopingForABetterWorld May 7, 2008

    dh...I'm not talking normal obstacles that are obvious...I'm talking about stupid people doing stupid things like stopping/slowing significantly to answer the phone, to reach in the back seat for a purse, to change the radio station. Things like that are what I am talking about.

  • CuriousT May 7, 2008

    As for the folks talking on the cell phone----get an ear piece. I noticed that most people that have their hands close to their heads (with or without a cell phone) usually are paying attention the that hand instead of their driving. Ear pieces allow you to see everything around you.

    Then again, some people can't walk and chew chewing gum at the same time.

  • hedgy_one May 7, 2008

    If this was in the 1700 block of South Saunders St., it was just below the Cause for Paws store. There are no traffic lights there. There is one at S. Saunders & Maywood Ave (1400 Block of S.Saunders) & one down at the beltline area. Community residents have been trying to get one in that area at Penmarc St., next to the Shell Station, as that road is going to eventually join up to South Wilmington St....

  • TomLynda May 7, 2008

    Thanks JoeBlow, I think I remember that area. I don't go downtown all that often. Not much to go down there for. I hope that improves though. I agree with you. The driver coming from rear and striking the car stopped is at fault. It could be on I-40 and if someone hits a stopped car, then the driver that hit the car is always at fault. No excuses. Driving is and should be a full time pursuit. If someone takes their eyes off the road for a second, a lot can happen. I refuse to talk on a cell phone while driving. I'll let the stupid thing ring and ring and when I can pull over, I'll see who called. We didn't have those stupid things a few years ago and I did just fine without them.

    I feel for the family of the pedestrian that was killed, and for the driver of the car that stopped for him. Wrong place at the wrong time and some jerk rams you from behind, because they were doing whatever. Anything but driving properly.