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Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect: 'I Thought I Hit a Sign'

Posted November 28, 2006

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— A grandmother suspected in a fatal hit-and-run accident three weeks ago said Tuesday that she thought she hit a sign and didn't need to stop.

Andy Anderson, 47, of the Elroy community, was found dead in the median of U.S. Highway 70 just east of Goldsboro on Nov. 8. Authorities said he was lying in the median for about 12 hours before he was found.

Friends and relatives said Anderson had a daily routine of crossing busy U.S. 70 to go to a local store less than a mile from the home where he lived with his parents.

He was wearing dark clothes, and authorities said it was dark and rainy about the time he was struck and killed.

A tip to the state Highway Patrol led investigators to a vehicle with front-end damage consistent with the fatal accident, and they have questioned Carol Coletrain Lane, 72, of LaGrange.

Lane sobbed Tuesday as she explained that she didn't know she had hit anyone.

"All of a sudden I just hit something," she said. "If I had known I had hit him, I would have stopped. But I thought, if it was a sign I hit, there was no need to stop."

Authorities said Lane was at fault in the accident, but no charges have been filed.

The Wayne County District Attorney's Office is waiting for a final report from the Highway Patrol to determine if any charges are warranted. Troopers said they are still waiting on test results from the State Bureau of Investigation to complete their report.

Lane said she hasn't driven since investigators told her about Anderson.

"My son told me I could be charged with manslaughter or murder. That worries me to death to think that I'm going to have to go to court," she said.

Anderson's mother said she finds Lane's story hard to believe, and she wants charges filed against the woman.

Meanwhile, Lane said she grieves for the Anderson family.

"I think about his family how they must feel. I wanted to go to them, but I felt like I couldn't go," she said.

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