Pedestrian deaths on the rise - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Pedestrian deaths on the rise

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The number of pedestrian deaths in the East is up.

The Highway Patrol says just last year there were 48 pedestrian accidents in the east. In 16 of those accidents someone died. Pitt, Lenoir and Beaufort Counties had the most deaths.

The reason for the increase is unclear but Trooper Doug Coley says it may have something to do with technology. Not only are people texting and driving, they're texting and walking, too.

"You get caught up in either the conversation or the music that you may be listening to and you get so distracted that you walk out or run out in front of a vehicle," Coley said.

Most drivers involved in accidents stop. But when they don't, Coley says the cases can be hard to solve. The more time that passes, the harder it gets.

Lakisha Wynder's family is still hoping for answers. Investigators found the Princeville woman's body lying in the middle of Highway 64 Alternate near Bethel.

In early August of last year, a family of four, including a 6-year-old boy, were seriously injured when a car hit them on Memorial Drive in Greenville.

20-year-old Austin Baeza went for a walk late at night. The next morning someone found his body along a ditch on Highway 33 in Pitt County.

There's now a more than $11,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest.

"My son was killed and he was left in a ditch," said his mother, Nicki Baeza, in a previous interview with 9 on your side. "I shouldn't have to pay someone to do the right thing but I will do what I have to do to get the truth. Because I owe that to my child."

Anyone with information about these unsolved cases should call Crimestoppers. The number is 252-758-7777.

In the meantime, if you're planning to head outside, Troopers say it's a good idea to wear bright-colored clothing and reflective gear. The Highway Patrol is also handing out glow-in-the-dark bracelets.

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