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Woman killed while helping injured cat identified

Posted December 12, 2009
Updated December 14, 2009

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— A 60-year-old woman was killed Saturday afternoon when she stopped to help an injured animal along a road south of Carrboro, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Trooper A.J. Edwards said Melinda Grossman, of Chapel Hill, stopped her car along Jones Ferry Road, near Ferguson Road, after another driver hit a cat around 5:30 p.m. As she bent over to help the cat, a third car hit and killed her.

"It's a bad situation," Edwards said. "Someone trying to do good and someone trying to go home."

Edwards said it was dark and Grossman was wearing dark clothing. The 71-year-old driver of the third car, Lenny Joe Louis Alston, simply did not see Grossman in the road. Alston was going the speed limit and left no skid marks at the scene, troopers said.

Edwards called it a tragedy, saying no charges will be filed in the accident.

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  • Common Sense Man Dec 14, 2009

    "There were no skid marks because at NIGHT when you have a DARK object down at road level on a dark colored road your eyes don't see that 3 dimensional shape in the headlights until you are very close"

    I disagree with that. People hit deer all the time and have time to brake.

  • baracus Dec 14, 2009

    "and wral wants everyone to know the cat didn't make it. does anyone else find that absolutely absurd?"

    And if they didn't mention the cat you would probably be first in line to complain about them leaving it out.

    This is certainly a sad situation. Everybody makes poor decisions from time to time. Some of those decisions have much greater consequences than others.

  • ncmidteacher Dec 14, 2009

    This is soooooo sad! Sorry to hear about the lady and the cat! Hope they're both in heaven having a much better time than all of us are right now!

  • luvmyjackrascal Dec 14, 2009

    Believe it or not, some people actually do care about the cat, as obviously did this lady who stopped to help.

  • cth1 Dec 14, 2009

    So sad for all both families involved!!! I understand stopping to help an animal....but, you don't step in the road until you know for sure it's clear.

    Either way....It's a sad situation!!!

  • thefensk Dec 14, 2009

    This is very sad and you hear about this quite often, someone with a big heart wants to help an injured animal and they get killed.
    In reality, the poor kitty probably didn't have a chance anyway. 45MPH speed limit ... cats have a very small mass and the mass of a car is such that the impact is so great it is almost always fatal. A glancing blow at low speed is bad enough. You just have to consider the traffic if you stop and help. Doing it alone is not a good idea at all. My condolences to all ... and keep the you cats inside!

  • hdonthefarm Dec 14, 2009

    No Contest and Santa,
    I am one of the people who wanted to know about the cat. No, I'm not more concerned about the cat than the woman. Her death was tragic. But to also express concern about another life does not make me a monster, or uncaring.

  • no contest Dec 14, 2009

    There were no skid marks because at NIGHT when you have a DARK object down at road level on a dark colored road your eyes don't see that 3 dimensional shape in the headlights until you are very close.

  • SantaClaus Dec 14, 2009

    time4real "and wral wants everyone to know the cat didn't make it. does anyone else find that absolutely absurd?"

    Of course they want folks to know....they probably are more distraught about the death of an animal than they are about this poor lady......go figure.....

  • ConcernedNCC Dec 14, 2009

    Doesn't "no skidmarks" indicate that the driver never saw the woman even as she ran her down? Doesn't that indicate that the woman wasn't watching the road when it happened?

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