Garbage truck driver to be charged in death of NC pedestrian and dog

(Jordan Sawyers | WBTV)

DAVIDSON, N.C. (WBTV) – A pedestrian and dog were killed after they were struck by a garbage truck in Davidson Friday afternoon, officials say. The driver of the truck has been charged in the incident.

Jeffery Wilburn, 38, is charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide in the death of 49-year-old Janet McFadden.

The wreck happened around 12:30 p.m. in the 200 block of South Main Street. Investigators said McFadden was crossing the street at a marked crosswalk while walking two dogs. They said Wilburn, who was driving a 2010 Mack garbage truck from Republic Service, made a left turn from South Street and struck McFadden.

Medic pronounced McFadden dead at the scene. One of the dogs she was walking was also killed.

Republic Service released a comment about the crash.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this morning’s incident, especially our driver who in understandably distraught,” the statement read.

The company said they are cooperating fully with local authorities as part of the investigation. Police say it does not appear speed or alcohol played a part in the crash.

People who knew McFadden told WBTV she owned a pet sitting business in Davidson, and was the mother of four children.

Janet’s ex-husband, Michael McFadden, said he was in shock when he heard the terrible news. He added that Janet was loved by everyone who met her.

“You can’t find anyone to say anything bad about her… You really couldn’t,” Michael said.

One employee at a business near the site of the crash says customers had been coming in all day, devastated by the news.

“We’re such a small, cute town. Everybody knows each other,” said Monica Dickson. “I have some regulars come in. Everyone – you can tell from their faces – is sad and deeply affected by such a sad story.”

Miller said the tragedy even affected officers on the scene.

“People on scene know our victim, know the family,” Miller said.

One witness, who did not want to be identified, said she ran over to help after the incident and spoke with Wilburn. She said the driver seemed distraught and shocked.

“I let him know he was loved and that there is grace in all situations,” the woman said.

Davidson Police Chief Jeanne Miller says the city has recently made attempts to make the downtown area safer for pedestrians.

“We have spent a lot of energy and time trying to increase our pedestrian control, and this intersection right here just was the site of a lot of the improvements,” Miller said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is now leading this investigation, teaming up with North Carolina Highway Patrol.

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