Pedestrian struck in crosswalk Saturday released from hospital

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BUCKHANNON – A pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle Saturday night in the crosswalk in front of Poling-St. Clair Funeral Home was released from Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown on Wednesday, her daughter told My Buckhannon.

Linda S. Lee, 61, of Buckhannon, was seriously injured Saturday night while she was crossing Route 20/Kanawha Street, using the crosswalk in front of the funeral home. As she approached the sidewalk, Lee was struck by 2015 black Chevrolet Equinox being driven by Gene Ormond Evans Jr., also 61 and from Buckhannon, according to the police report filed by investigating officer Patrolman Angel McCauley with the Buckhannon Police Department.

Lee was transported to WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital with incapacitating injuries by Upshur EMS. She was subsequently transferred to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown for further treatment, according to Lisa Wharton, vice president for marketing, public relations and Foundation for WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital.

On Wednesday, she was headed home.

“She was released today by the grace of God!” Lee’s daughter, Carrie E.A. Rice, told My Buckhannon. “She is the strongest person I know to walk out of the hospital four days later, after walking across the street and being hit by an SUV.

“She is in a lot of pain and it’s going to be a long road to recovery. I will be there for her every step of the way! Seeing her like that tore me apart. My mother is my rock.”

Rice thanked the community for supporting her mother in prayer.

“It’s amazing how many wonderful people were praying for her every step of the way,” Rice said. “I would like to thank them all! God is good!”

According to the report filed by McCauley, at about 5:40 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, Lee was crossing Kanawha Street in front of the funeral home when the Equinox failed to yield at the crosswalk and hit Lee.

When McCauley and assisting office Cpl. Darin Hissam arrived on scene, Lee was already being treated by medical personnel. Evans told the officers he’d been traveling at a speed “of 20-25 mph and hit his brakes upon approaching the victim,” according to the report.

Several witnesses told the officers that upon being hit by the Equinox, “the victim flipped in the air and landed on the sidewalk,” the report states. “The victim had been within a few feet of exiting the crosswalk to the sidewalk when she was struck by the vehicle.”

“There are flashing yellow yield lights on both sides of the road prior to the funeral home on both directions of travel,” the report goes on to say.

The Equinox had been headed south on Route 20, and rain, a wet road surface and glare may have contributed to the accident, McCauley noted in the report. The report says that Evans wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substances, but did say Evans’ license had been revoked non-DUI.

Evans was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and driving revoked non-DUI.

In addition to the BPD and Upshur EMS, the Buckhannon Fire Department also responded to the scene.