Fatal hit-and-run leaves safety concerns over Upstate road
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A fatal hit in run over the summer has caused the city of Greenville to request ownership of the road where the incident occurred.
In May of 2021, Brittany Lawson was running alongside her dog on Augusta Street near Augusta Place when she was fatally hit by an SUV that had previously been stolen. The suspect, Veronica Dawn Tharp, was later arrested and charged with reckless homicide, hit and run with death, driving under suspension and possession of a stolen vehicle.
According to officers, Tharp crossed two lanes of oncoming traffic, drove onto the sidewalk and hit Lawson. Tharp then fled the scene on foot, police say.
Former Greenville City Council Member Garry Coulter released a statement on the incident:
“I was shocked but sadly not surprised to see the aftermath of the traffic accident in front of my home on Augusta St. this afternoon. Our prayers are with the victims family. Speeding, poor road design and signal control are long standing problems that have never been meaningfully addressed. Enforcement of the speed limit, better signal control would help. A simple median could have saved a life today. It is my hope that something could be done in the future to make our Street safer.”
In October, the city of Greenville proposed to state lawmakers that the city should take over the area of the road where Lawson was hit in order to make safety improvements.
According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, nearly 20,000 cars drive down Augusta Street everyday. Some of the main problems with the road include narrow lanes, a lack of turning lanes, and sidewalks too close to the road, SCDOT says.
The Greenville community held a 5K benefit to honor Lawson’s legacy. The Brittany’s Benches Run Walk and Wag saw over 450 people registered.
The benches to honor Lawson were placed at the Upstate the Children’s Museum of the Upstate and at the Greenville Downtown Airport on her birthday, October 29.
A final decision on the city’s proposal has not yet been made.
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