Local News

Durham authorities investigating fatal pedestrian crash

Posted August 5, 2013
Updated August 7, 2013

— The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash involving a man who was hit while walking along Guess Road just outside of Durham's city limit, Monday afternoon.

Highway Patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said a preliminary investigation found that Brian Gene Long, 30, of Durham was walking southbound in the road around 12:15 p.m., when a Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by Elizabeth Ekberg, 22, struck him from behind and killed him.

A woman walking with Long, Kristen McLaughlin, had been walking on the shoulder and suffered minor injuries, Gordon said.

It's unclear what caused the crash, but Gordon said alcohol was not a factor. Investigators will meet with the Durham County District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges should be filed.

The wreck happened in front of the home of Charles Teasley, 86, who has lived in the area for more than 50 years.

He said that he sees several people walking along the stretch of road each week and has always worried because the shoulder is narrow.

Monday's crash, however, is the first he's seen, he said.

"I don't think they have enough shoulder down there. It's definitely dangerous," he said.


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  • david.durham.nc Aug 6, 2013

    I've driven that section well more than 5000 times since 98. It's quite straight and was widened a few years back. It's no "Dead Man's Curve", and 12:15 isn't rush hour traffic. However, any driver ANYWHERE at almost any speed that is NOT paying attention is a danger to everyone around them. If the pedestrian was outside the white lines then the road is wide enough - and straight enough - that an attentive driver can easily see and safely pass them. And even if the pedestrian was IN the road, if an attentive driver isn't tailgating there's no reason not to see them and take whatever action is necessary to avoid hitting them - short of jumping, running, falling etc into traffic at the last moment. We all know how distracted drivers are these days, so while I don't KNOW, that's where I'd place my bet (which admittedly, I could lose).

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 6, 2013

    Driving passed here this morning it reminded me that just in the past year they actually widened the two lane part of Guess road all the way the Durham / Orange county line giving the shoulder about 2 and a half feet. Honestly of these people were walking with traffic AND the young man was actually in the road I don't see how this could legally be the fault of the driver.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 6, 2013

    "....situations such as this exactly why bicyclist, mopeds and pedestrians should not use this road... just saying."

    Not true as not everyone drives as speeds where they are constantly out of control and unable to react the environment around them. On a race track or I-40 ok but on roads it's different.

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 5, 2013

    If you look at the photo, it looks like a rather wide and grassey shoulder. How could this possibly have happened? -stymied again

    What else can I say? I read the well written new article which makes this clear.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 5, 2013

    I like how there's a sidewalk which ends abruptly right before the road narrows at the creek, almost daring someone to try to walk on the road in that spot.

  • Pulling for the Tarheels Aug 5, 2013

    ....situations such as this exactly why bicyclist, mopeds and pedestrians should not use this road... just saying.

  • stymieindurham Aug 5, 2013

    If you look at the photo, it looks like a rather wide and grassey shoulder. How could this possibly have happened? Sad.

  • stymieindurham Aug 5, 2013

    " . . . authorities said a man walking southbound on the shoulder . . . "

    I wonder if the article is accurate? WRAL quotes a source as the victim "walking on the shoulder of the road". How do you strike someone on the shoulder of the road unless you run OFF the roadway? Or, could the victim have been really walking "IN" the roadway which was designed and built for motor vehicles, "NOT" for pedestrian's or children's bicycles.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 5, 2013

    "I used to live right by Mr. Teasley and that stretch of road is very very tight."

    I've had work done on a mower when there was a "shop" there a few years ago. I did everything possible to avoid backing out of that driveway with a trailer which would have been stupid and suicidal.

  • 68_dodge_polara Aug 5, 2013

    Let's let the officers perform their investigation as to what happened but what we do know is the this is a busy major thoroughfare and no room to walk or ride a bike beside the road.