Charlotte Seeing Steady Increase In Pedestrian Fatalities

CHARLOTTE, NC. —  Two dozen–Charlotte DOT says that’s the number of pedestrian fatalities so far this year. More than double the amount in 2015. The latest, a Panthers fan. Police say she was hit and killed during Sunday’s game outside Bank of America Stadium.

The Carolina Panthers were just not just a team to Diane Babinec, but a passion. She was one of the original members of a worldwide fan group called The Carolina Pantherettes.

“She had an infectious spirit for the Panthers,” says Founder of The Carolina Pantherettes Sonja Anderson.

During the Panthers game on Sunday afternoon, police say Diane Babinec was crossing West Morehead Street with her husband near Bank of America Stadium when she was hit by an SUV. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died on Monday.

CMPD says the driver of the SUV was not speeding or drinking. No one has been charged.

“She was literally doing something she loved, she loved her family, she loved the Panthers, so she literally went in that moment.”

Diane is the latest pedestrian fatality in Charlotte. Charlotte DOT says there’s been a steady increase of pedestrian fatalities since 2015, with 24 so far this year.

“That’s an alarming number, it’s scary when we think about that. Obviously, with the growth we have in Charlotte there’s more pedestrians there’s more vehicles out there,” says CMPD Officer Jonathan Frisk.

The city is working on an action plan called Vision Zero. It’s designed to reduce crashes and eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries by 2030, by upgrading intersections, adding bike lanes and building additional sidewalks.

Monday, City Council voted to update the neighborhood traffic calming policy. The change simplifies the petition process for lowering the speed limit, installing speed humps and adding stop signs in neighborhoods.