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Additional charges possible after Chatham pedestrian's death

Posted July 15, 2013

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— Chatham County authorities could decide this week what charges to file against a driver who they say hit a Siler City woman out for a morning walk with a friend.

Julie Bingham Haarhuis, 41, died Saturday at a local hospital eight days after the wreck in which Emily Brooke Cheek, 21, allegedly hit her from behind.

Joris Haarhuis said Monday that his wife was walking along White Smith Road in Siler City around 6:30 a.m. on July 5 when the wreck happened a car hit her from behind.

Cheek already faces a charge of driving while impaired and could also be charged with felony death-by-motor vehicle, authorities said.

The Haarhuises would have celebrated their second wedding anniversary this October.

"She would light up the room," Joris Haarhuis said of his wife. "I was, and I still feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the world."

Funeral arrangements are planned for Wednesday at in Burlington, and family will receive friends at McClure Funeral Service in Graham from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.


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  • 678devilish Jul 16, 2013

    Emily Brooke Cheek, 21

    Ms. Brook should get help for her excessive drinking; because she is on her way to being an alcoholic.

  • 678devilish Jul 16, 2013

    It has been proven time and time again, that DRINKING AND DRIVING DOES NOT MIXED. When are we as drivers who are old enough to know this will take heed and stop. Get a destinated driver if you have to drink. Now she faces dire consequences because of her actions that took a person's life.

  • 678devilish Jul 16, 2013

    My condolences to the man and his family in the loss of his wife. May God continue to be with you in this difficult time. You are in my prayers.

  • krislgl Jul 16, 2013

    She was walking facing traffic on the shoulder of road. The SUV crossed the center line drifting all the way over to where she was walking, hitting her from behind.

  • kikinc Jul 16, 2013

    I don't think it would have been any better had she been hit head on. It would have been the same outcome.

    Side point...that girl looks wasted! At 6:30 am?!?! Throw the book at her.

  • tpwright Jul 16, 2013

    @finz2drght, there's no law's regarding which side of the road you have to walk on. It is recommended that you walk facing traffic so you are able to see it and have more time to react in a dangerous situation.

  • colinmb123us Jul 16, 2013

    finz2drght - yeah. That was the cause. She wasn't able to jump out of the way of the drunk driver so it must be her fault. Maybe she turned around attempting to get out of the way? Maybe the DRUNK driver was on the wrong side of the road (there isn't enough information to disprove this, but you obviously were able to deduce it)? It states she was walking "along" the road and not in it, so how far off of the road did the accident occur? Maybe she was standing at the time of the accident and therefore had no direction of travel making your comment, again, completely irrelevant. Instead of concentrating on the person actually responsible for the death, let’s try, in some pathetic way, to justify it or make the victim look like the one who should be charged.

    I'm really surprised that the "shouldn't have been on the road" crowd hasn't chimed in harder. We are all aware now that they believe that the only things that should be on the roads are cars, period, and everything else is a nuisa

  • finz2drght Jul 16, 2013

    Just curious - if the car hit her from behind, wouldn't that mean she was walking on the wrong side of the road? I always thought you bike with traffic and walk facing traffic.