Local News

Woman, 80, wants driver to take responsibility for Wake Forest crash

Posted October 12, 2015

— An 80-year-old woman who was hit by a pickup truck nearly two months ago in a grocery store parking lot said Monday she wants someone to take responsibility for the crash.

Shirley Hearold made a stop a Food Lion at 12295 Capital Blvd. on Aug. 13 to pick up some cat food. Now, Hearold is facing months of rehabilitation after a crash in the parking lot.

"People yelled, 'Hey! Stop, stop, stop,'" she said. "He hit the full cart. Everything came up, the cart and everything came down on me, and I landed out on the black, filthy asphalt."

Several store employees who witnessed the crash ran to help, but the driver, 70-year-old Leon Cooke, left the scene.

"I left the scene and came straight back with my wife," Cooke said. "Even the police said that was OK."

Police said Cooke returned to the scene within a reasonable amount of time and was not charged in the crash.

"You've got four witnesses who saw this. You've got the suspect coming back and confessing to the crime. You couldn't have a more clear cut case," said Hearold's attorney, Mike Maurer.

Cooke said he checked both of his mirrors and backed out of the parking space slowly. He said that, when he realized he hit someone, he left to go get his wife because he was nervous. He believed the victim was not seriously injured and that others were taking care of her.

Following the crash, Hearold had to enter rehab and now walks with a cane. She said her knee, elbow and neck were injured, but the biggest loss is the loss of her independence.

"I don't feel comfortable being out by myself any longer," she said.

Cooke told WRAL News that he did not hear people yelling at him to stop backing out because he had his air conditioning on.

Cooke was charged with a hit and run involving property damage in 2008, but he ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge.


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  • Brian White Oct 13, 2015
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    It's traumatized and scared to leave the store.

  • Mark Colyer Oct 13, 2015
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    How did the shopping cart make out?

  • Edward Anderson Oct 13, 2015
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    Did the article say the guy's insurance *wasn't * paying for her costs? I don't see that anywhere. What I believe this woman wants is for the guy who hit her to stand up and say "I hurt you and I am sorry" instead of being charged and convicted for a lesser crime.

  • Tom Laurence Oct 13, 2015
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    Your compassion is overwhelming. SARCASM! If you live to age 80, you might feel differently.

  • Mick Flynn Oct 13, 2015
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    Sorry but the guy ran over or into someone, accident of not, and he drives away. He should have been charged. And if he had any conscience he would offer to pay for her medical bills.

  • Brian White Oct 13, 2015
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    ""I don't feel comfortable being out by myself any longer," she said."

    80 years of living, something like this happens and all of a sudden she can't go anywhere by herself? Glad this didn't happen when she was 20.

  • Sherrill Craig Oct 13, 2015
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    what she wants??
    2 words...


  • Catherine Edwards Oct 13, 2015
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    And his auto insurance hasn't paid her for her injuries - why? This is one of the most incomplete articles I've read.

  • Marcy Lyn Oct 13, 2015
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    Ummm maybe he should not be driving anymore ?

  • Kristin Byrne Oct 13, 2015
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    Not in her case. He pled to a lesser charge to a hit and run he had a few years ago.