Woman killed in Raleigh hit-and-run accident called caring, energetic

relder@newsobserver.comJune 16, 2013 

— A Cary man has been charged in a hit-and-run incident that killed 18-year-old Natalie Chidlaw and injured another teen as the two attempted to cross Hillsborough Street shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.

Chidlaw was a 2012 graduate of Holly Springs High School. Born July 10, 1994, in Champaign, Ill., she moved to North Carolina with her mother before middle school, said Ruth Chidlaw Johnson, Natalie’s aunt.

She loved animals and working with young children at Raleigh Mennonite Church, which she attended, said another aunt, June Adamio. Raleigh Police officials arrested Adetoye Adekanmbi, 33, at his residence on East Chalfont Way and charged him with two counts of felony hit and run and driving on a revoked license.

Adekanmbi offered no resistance when he was taken into custody at his townhome complex, said Lt. John Szymeczek, of the Cary Police Department, which provided backup during the arrest.

Adekanmbi was identified after witnesses described the vehicle that hit Chidlaw and Clark as a dark Volkswagen sedan. A citizen reported seeing a similar vehicle with damage to the front end and windshield parked near Adekanbi’s home.

Adekanmbi was convicted of driving while intoxicated in September 2010 in Durham County and received probation, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety records.

Chidlaw, also of Cary, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision near N.C. State University.

Her friend, Meghan Clark, 18, was admitted to WakeMed, where her condition was listed as “good” on Sunday.

Johnson said Chidlaw and Clark had been close friends in high school and had recently reconnected.

“They had just gotten back in touch and were going out together Friday night, as friends do,” Johnson said. “They were hit as they were walking across the street.”

Chidlaw’s mother, Jamie Chidlaw Brauer, works as a clinical secretary at WakeMed.

Her father is Chris Battershell of Champaign, Ill. She also leaves behind a sister and brother, Morgan and Cameron Walters, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

“We thought of Natalie as a miracle baby because she had some problems at birth that made the doctors think she might never walk. But she beat all odds,” Johnson said. “She was vibrant and energetic and very independent.”

Services will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday at Raleigh Mennonite Church, which meets at Hope Charter Elementary, 1116 N. Blount St. Visitation is from 1-3 p.m. at the same location.

Elder: 919-829-4528

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