A 79-year-old Augusta woman is dead and 51-year-old Hephzibah woman has been arrested for her death after a fatal car crash that occurred in the Walmart parking lot on the Bobby Jones Expressway. The defendant has been charged with both vehicular homicide and a failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk after striking the woman Friday afternoon.
According to police, the elderly woman had been walking within the crosswalk either coming into or out of the store just before 4:30 p.m. when a pickup truck being driven by the defendant fast approached. The woman was reportedly struck in the head by the truck's bumper and then once again as her body crashed on the asphalt lot.
Emergency crews who responded to the scene transported the woman to the Augusta University Medical Center with blunt force trauma to her head. By 9:30 p.m., that same night, she was pronounced dead.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the events that led up to this fatal parking lot crash. It's unclear whether they've been able to rule out distracted or intoxicated driving as having contributed to it.
Incidents like this are, unfortunately, not all that uncommon. A report published by the National Safety Council (NSC) in 2016 suggested that one-third of all drivers polled admitted to being distracted when they pulled into shopping centers. Their data also shows that as much as one-fifth of all car crashes take place in parking lots. At least 500 people are killed and another 50,000 are injured as a result of this type of crash each year.
Families of car crash victims may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs and other expenses stemming from such an incident. This is why you'll want to have an Augusta attorney representing you when there are serious injuries or a death is involved.