Man charged with DWI after pedestrian struck and killed in Raleigh, police say

A pedestrian died early Friday after being hit by a pickup truck on South Saunders Street, the site of many fatal crashes involving Raleigh walkers.

A 34-year-old Raleigh man has been charged with driving while impaired after being arrested at the scene near South Wilmington Street. Fletcher Fairbanks Martin was held on a $5,000 secured bond and released on electronic house arrest to await trial, Wake County jail records show.

Raleigh police identified the dead man as Walter Andrew Everhart of Hawthorne Road. Wake County arrest records show Everhart, 57, with an address of “anywhere” as recently as 2018.

A police report said Everhart stepped into the truck’s path as it headed south, traveling below the speed limit. The wreck at roughly 1 a.m. temporarily blocked traffic on South Saunders for portions of the Friday morning commute, but lanes reopened by 8 a.m.

On Tuesday, two pedestrians died in Durham after being hit by separate cars only a few hours apart.

In Raleigh, South Saunders has been particularly deadly for foot traffic. A pedestrian died at the Pecan Street intersection in February. Crosswalks were added three years after being approved.

Another man died in October 2018 trying to cross South Saunders near the I-440 Beltline.

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Josh Shaffer covers Wake County and federal courts. He has been a reporter for The News & Observer since 2004 and previously wrote a column about unusual people and places.