Police charge 90-year-old driver in death of West Virginia man

Drone shot of the fatal accident scene Monday morning in Kill Devil HIlls. [Photo courtesy Kill Devil Hills police]

Kill Devil Hills police have charged 90-year-old Harvey L. Sourbeer of Point Harbor with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in Monday’s fatal crosswalk incident that claimed the life of an 82-year-old man visiting from West Virginia.

The victim has been identified as Robert A. Rawlings from Weirton, West Virginia, town police Capt. J.C. Towler said in a news release.

Rawlings was killed when, police say, Sourbeer struck him while driving a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado at the intersection of Landing Drive and U.S. 158 Monday morning.

Rawlings was using the crosswalk and had the right of way.

“A friend walking with the pedestrian attempted to pull him out of the path of the oncoming Silverado but was unable to move him in time,” Towler said.

Towler said there has been some confusion in public reaction to the incident.

“… Mr. Rawlings was in no way shape or form at fault for what happened,” Towler said. “He was crossing the road in properly marked crosswalk. The light was green for him to cross and the light was functioning properly. He had the right of way.”

Sourbeer was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, a state law that addresses unintentional actions that violate a state law or local ordinance, leading to the death of another person. He was held on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Kill Devil Hills police are active in the “Watch for Me NC” campaign, which aims to reduce bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths through public education, community engagement and high visibility law enforcement.

“We all share the responsibility to make sure our roads are safe for everyone. In the aftermath of this tragedy, we would encourage people to visit www.watchformenc.org to learn more about how they can more about how to be a safer driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian, and ultimately, reduce the number of people hit or killed by vehicles on North Carolina streets and highways,” Towler said.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com