Local News

N.C. State Student Injured While Crossing Intersection

Posted February 24, 2006 3:58 a.m. EST

— A mad dash across a busy Raleigh street sent an N.C. State student to the hospital Friday morning.

Authorities said 19-year-old John M. Barnhill, a sophmore business major from Charlotte, was crossing intersection of Avent Ferry and Western Boulevard when a car hit him in the left turn lane. Barnhill was transported to WakeMed but was later released. Authorities said that the driver was not at fault and won't be cited.

People who work near the intersection said they're not surprised by what happened there. Other students have taken chances crossing the strip because, they say, either the light takes too long or they're late for class.

"It gets pretty crazy around 5 or 6 a.m. every single day," said student Teddy Mazzei. "I don't take any chances. People drive ridiculously fast."

Even the accident scene didn't stop other students from making a run for it across the street on Friday. Just yards away from where emergency crews loaded the accident victim into the ambulance, students were crossing the street just ahead of oncoming traffic.

"Most of the time they stop for you," said student David Strauss. "It takes forever to cross the road. So, you have to cross when you get a chance."

But some students said they've seen enough close calls to compel them to follow traffic rules.

"I actually had a friend who got sideswiped by a car, and he ended up in a wheelchair for awhile," said student Justin Stephenson.

A couple of weeks ago, UNC-Chapel Hill began a crackdown on jaywalking to avoid more of those kinds of accidents. A jaywalking fine there will set you back $135.

Raleigh police said that they'll maintain regular patrols, but the intersection is not considered to be a problem area.