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Raleigh outdoor diners recall being hit by car

Posted September 5, 2011
Updated September 6, 2011

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— Three church friends had just sat down for lunch at a Cameron Village restaurant Sunday afternoon when a car suddenly crashed into their outdoor table.

Raleigh police said that Betty Jo Boykin Sledge was pulling into a parking space outside the Noodles and Company restaurant when she accelerated, drove over the curb and into the outdoor seating area.

"Everything happened so fast. I didn't actually see the car. I just heard screeching tires, yelling. I think it was the driver," Suzanne Vogel, 31, of Raleigh, said.

"I saw it start to slow down and then speed up, and I knew an instant before it was going to hit us," said Karallen Haire, 31, of Garner. "Then, you know, it hit, and I was flying."

Sledge's 2003 gold Lexus sedan struck Vogel, Haire and their friend, Judith Igelman, at 10 mph, tossing them from their seats, then struck the restaurant.

Vogel, 31, of Raleigh, and Karallen "Rella" Haire, 31, of Garner, suffered minor cuts and bruises. They were treated and released from WakeMed.

Igelman, 68, of Wake Forest, remained in intensive care at WakeMed Monday, but her condition had improved to fair, a hospital representative said.

Sledge, 55, of Raleigh, was treated and released from Rex Hospital. Two passengers in her car weren't injured.

It's unclear what caused Sledge to lose control of her car and jump the curb.

Karallen "Rella" Haire Raleigh diners describe being hit by car

"She kept saying, 'I tried to stop. I tried to stop.' (She was) very upset," Vogel said. "I can't imagine being in that situation – just feeling like you've lost control of my car, and what has happened? What did I do?"

The wreck report stated that Sledge was in apparently normal physical condition and that drugs or alcohol were not suspected to be factors in the incident. She did not respond to messages left by WRAL News Monday.

Raleigh police said they would consult with the Wake County District Attorney's Office to see whether charges should be filed.

Some Cameron Village shoppers said they'd like more done to protect pedestrians from vehicles.

"I think having some sort of barrier, maybe having higher curbs would definitely make people feel safer while dining outside," shopper Patrick Keeley said.

Whatever the cause, Vogel said she has no hard feelings toward Sledge.

"It could have happened to anybody, and I don't want her to carry this around feeling terrible about it," Vogel said.

Haire agreed that Sledge "didn't intend to hurt anybody." 

62 Comments

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  • ger Sep 6, 2011

    as for me and my family.......no TToyotas. too many weird stories of freak accidents and often no one lives to tell what really happened.

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Sep 6, 2011

    Lexus is made in the US, so that makes them American cars
    warbirdlover

    Incorrect-- they are assembled in the US-- not made. American made consists of American Parts and assembled by American Labor...

  • WFrules Sep 6, 2011

    Maybe I'm a little more harsh when it comes to other comments, but I would pull this ladies license for a year and make her attend driving school. I would not let her drive again anytime soon because it's people like this that cause more accidents.

  • gallbury Sep 6, 2011

    To WRAL: If you are going to allow rebuttals to my statements either give me equal time, or do not print my original post. Several people have attacked my opinions, which you have printed, yet have ommited the last two statements that I have used to try and defend my position. If you can't be equal and fair, then you have no business moderating these comments.

  • JDNCSU Sep 6, 2011

    @ DWH4sure: yes, that is the definition...but lots of people here and in the general public think that accidents happen for no reason and carry no blame or responsibility...pseudonym said it well...

    @ gallbury: If it ever happens to me I will have the same attitude, and that is people (myself included) need to be held accountable for their actions and outcome, either intentional or unintentional...

  • storchheim Sep 6, 2011

    Youmakeitsoeasy, SHE'S 55 YEARS OLD! That's NOT old enough to have the keys taken away just because of her age! One of the injured women was 68.

    Maybe you need reading glasses at your age!

  • gorgon01 Sep 6, 2011

    omg, really? You would think someone died with all the uproar about this story...I like how they "recall" that day...a whole two days ago, wow.

  • Pseudonym Sep 6, 2011

    Quote from gallbury: "To JDNCSU: when it happens to you; come back with that same attitude and then I'll listen."

    I guess this is in reference to JDNCSU's comment about "show me an accident and I'll show you [sic] where a human being messed up somewhere."

    I've been in my share of wrecks, and in EVERY case it was either my fault, the other driver's fault, or a combination of the 2. EVERY ACCIDENT IS PREVENTABLE. Face it folks: Betty Sledge made a boneheaded move. It doesn't mean we hate her, it doesn't mean we want her stoned to death, and it doesn't mean she's not a nice, sweet, caring person. But the facts are THIS IS HER FAULT 100%!!!

    If the restaurant jumped out in front of her car while she was doing 70 down I-40, then you'd have a case.

  • DWH4sure Sep 6, 2011

    @JDNCSU "But show me an "accident" and in every case i will show yu where a human being messed up somewhere, somehow..."

    Isn't that kind of the definition of "accident"?

  • gallbury Sep 6, 2011

    To JDNCSU: when it happens to you; come back with that same attitude and then I'll listen.

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