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Pickup truck strikes three, kills one outside Smithfield Walmart

Posted October 1, 2011
Updated October 12, 2011

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— An elderly man driving a pickup truck hit three pedestrians walking in the Walmart parking lot on North Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield Saturday morning, police said. 

Lois Shannon, 73, Debra Holmes, 53, and Jeanna Hawley, 35, all of Smithfield, were taken to Johnston County Memorial Hospital, where Shannon later died. Holmes and Hawley were in stable condition as of Saturday evening.

The driver, Benjamin Moye, 95, of Newport News, Va., was not injured and was allowed to leave with his family.

No charges have been filed. Investigators are trying to determine whether the driver was at fault or an equipment failure was the cause.

Pedestrians struck outside Smithfield Walmart Pedestrians struck outside Smithfield Walmart

Tina Grady was shopping at Walmart when the women were struck. She said she came upon a horrific scene when she left the store.

"The elderly man that hit the girls was severely shaken. You could see that he was very shaken," she said. "(People) were just stunned and shocked that it had happened."

Marianne Rapp, who also came upon the accident outside the store, said the Walmart gets very busy and the parking lot can be dangerous.

"When there are throngs of people coming out of Walmart, you have to be very cognizant of what's going on around you or you're going to hit somebody," she said.

Smithfield police, state troopers and the Johnston County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information about it is asked to call police at 919-934-2121.

5 Comments

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  • FromClayton Oct 3, 2011

    well i can neither confirm nor deny the old man was at fault, but i do know I am scared of the smithfield walmart. It's a scary place. Grateful the Clayton walmart is a little less scary (although we have had our share of troubles there too). Seriously wish they would bring a target to clayton. somehow the scariest people choose wally world over target. ever seen peopleofwalmart.com? there is no peopleoftarget.com to my knowledge.... that should say it all.

  • Mariana Oct 3, 2011

    I am sorry for the families involved..Until the facts have been released...no one is to blame..if it was a careless mistake by the pedestrains or by the driver.....If the driver would have been young or not as old there would have been charges brought up before the accident was cleared...I am sorry that this happened and to an elderly man but he shouldn't of been driving in the first place...Mayb his family should be the blame....There should be an age limit to drive or should at least be screened after a certain age to insure safety so things like this doesn't happen...

  • seven74215 Oct 3, 2011

    I've shopped at that Wal-Mart since it's opening day and not once have I or anyone I know been mugged, let alone targeted twice for a mugging. That along with the fact that I've lived in Johnston County for over half a century and know of places that are way more dangerous, causes me to question the validity of anyones comments claiming it to be the most dangerous place in Johnston County. Plus this story was about individuals getting hit by a 95 year old man, not a mugging. Enough said about that. As far as the age to drive goes, we all will be getting old one day should we be fortunate. As opposed to setting an age limit what should be in place is that once you reach a certain age, you have to do a driven test each year to ascertain your ability to drive. Of course this would have to be highly regulated so as not to discriminate.

  • Snookyone Oct 3, 2011

    Time and time again I see pedestrians walk into the path of a vehicle without a glance towards the traffic. Both the pedestrian and the driver is responsible for safety. That said, there should be an age limit for older drivers.

  • Disabled Vet Oct 3, 2011

    Smithfield Wal Mart has the reputation for being one of the most dangerous places in Johnston County. I, myself, have been the target of two mugging attempts just this year.