Impaired driver kills man checking damage from earlier crash on Independence, CMPD says

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A driver involved in a wreck on East Independence Boulevard early Tuesday died after he left his car and was hit by a driver suspected of speeding and being impaired by alcohol, police said.

Iyasu Gebrehawariat, the 73-year-old victim, left his Honda Accord to check on damage or collect items in his car when a Hyundai Sonata hit him about 12:15 a.m. in the 3300 block of the highway, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department news release. That’s near North Wendover Road.

One person was killed in a crash in the 3300 block of East Independence Boulevard on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.
One person was killed in a crash in the 3300 block of East Independence Boulevard on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022.

Police said they found Gebrehawariat “unconscious and unresponsive,” and Medic responders pronounced him dead.

Keith Duncan Jr., the 36-year-old driver of the Hyundai, had serious injuries, according to CMPD.

In the earlier crash, Gebrehawariat’s eastbound car hit the left retaining wall of the highway and spun to a rest in the left lane, CMPD said. Police didn’t say if another car was involved in that wreck.

Officers obtained a warrant charging Duncan with felony death by vehicle that will be served when he’s released from the hospital.

Police urged anyone who saw the wrecks or has information about them to call CMPD Detective Chuck Jamieson at 704-432-2169, extension 3, or call the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 704-334-1600.

The wreck was one of three in two days on a Charlotte highway:

Just after 11 a.m. Tuesday, 81-year-old motorcyclist Patrick Carlos Ramia died when he merged left in front of a 2011 Ford Super Duty pickup traveling east on Freedom Drive between Camp Greene Street and Berryhill Road, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department news release Wednesday.

The pickup driver hit the back of Ramia’s 2020 Honda Monkey motorcycle, police said. Ramia fell off his bike, and the pickup hit him again, according to CMPD.

No charges were filed, but police urged witnesses and anyone else with information about the crash to call CMPD Detective Matthew Pressley at 704-432-2169, extension 3, or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at 704-334-1600.

A person died and another had minor injuries after a crash that closed Interstate 85 North at Graham Street on Monday morning, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.