[messengers] Mother seeks justice for son killed in hit and run accident

Date: 2 Jun 2011 20:28:47 +0200
From: Joe Hendry <messvilleto@xxxxxxxxx>

Mother seeks justice for son killed in hit and run accident

WBTV.com,  June 2, 2011

By Tom Roussey


CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Wednesday marked the one-month anniversary of the day Charlotte resident Joni Webster lost her son.


Webster says she's received a lot of support since the first of May, but she can't ever have closure until the person who ran over her 29-year-old son, Carl Hedrick, is caught.


"The person responsible for this really needs to come forward," Webster said while standing near the spot of the accident Wednesday afternoon. "It amazes me that someone can live with this knowledge and not be completely torn up inside."


The accident happened early in the morning on Sunday, May 1. Webster says Carl had been hanging out with some brand new friends all night.


He and two other guys were bicycling to one of the men's homes. They were in Charlotte's Sedgefield neighborhood, turning left onto Poindexter Drive from Lawndale Road.


Carl fell off his bike while making the turn. As his two friends were helping him, a car heading west on Poindexter came towards them and wasn't slowing down.


"One of [the friends] was holding Carl's brand new chrome bike above his head, frantically waving it to get the attention of the driver," Webster said.


But the car didn't stop. It ran Carl over and killed him.


Webster points out that the accident happened right under a streetlight, with another one nearby.  She says she doesn't know if the driver was texting, drunk, or didn't stop for some other reason.


"If you're in a car and you can't see under a streetlight that there are three men and three bicycles in the road, then what are you doing?" she said. "You shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car."


The friends were unable to get a good look at the driver or the car. They describe it as an older model, light blue or silver sedan.


Hedrick grew up in Cumberland, Maryland, but before moving to Charlotte in January he was a bicycle courier in New York City. He was staying with Webster while he was in Charlotte. She says he was one week away from moving back to New York when the accident happened.


Local bicyclists, many of whom had never even met Carl, held a memorial ride in his honor. Friends in New York City also memorialized him at an event Webster attended.


She said his fellow cyclists in New York repeatedly told her how much they'd loved him and how much fun he was to be around.


Days after the accident Carl's new friends and other members of Charlotte's bicycling community put what's called a "ghost bike" on Poindexter Drive.


It's there as a memorial to Carl, but it's also there in the hope that the driver who didn't stop that night will see it and be shamed into confessing to police.


"This bike will serve as a constant reminder to that person," Webster said. She said it's possible the driver lives near where the accident happened and still uses the road a lot.


She also believes the driver may have told someone else what happened. She hopes either the driver turns himself in or someone comes forward with information leading to the driver's arrest.


"This person has ripped a part of our family away from us," Webster said.  "And I want that person found and to be held accountable for his actions."


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