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Second person dies from injuries in Chapel Hill hit-and-run

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TWC News: Second person dies from injuries in Chapel Hill hit-and-run
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The second person injured in a tragic hit and run accident in Orange County Thursday night has died from her injuries. And authorities are still desperately searching for the driver involved in the crash.

What likely started out as a routine bike ride Thursday, quickly turned into one woman's fight for her life.

"Someone lost a loved one, and someone is dealing with a tragic situation," said Trooper Greg Ingram.

Troopers say Alexandria Simou and Irvin Scurlock were hit by a driver just south of Chapel Hill on 15-501 last week.

Scurlock, who was wearing a reflective vest but no helmet died at the scene. Simou succumbed to her injures three days later at the hospital.

"Based on our investigation, it appears a vehicle came along, struck them in the back and then fled the scene without stopping," said Trooper Ingram.

Seventy eight percent of bicycle accidents in North Carolina happen during the week. And while this one occurred at night, most are between 3:00 and 6:00 in the afternoon. So far this year, State Highway Patrol has investigated more than 100 injury-related bike collisions, five that were deadly.

"We have seen an increase in both pedestrians being struck and also bicyclists," said Trooper Ingram.

"More than 50 percent occur near an intersection, often involving a driver turning left or right," said Laura Sandt of the UNC Highway Safety Research Center.

To help make roads safer, Watch for Me N.C. added bicycles to their educational campaign.

"We wanted this campaign to be as inclusive as possible to reach out to all those people when they come together on the streets," Sandt said.

And with an estimated 50 percent of people living in Chapel Hill riding bikes, the town is developing a new Bicycle Master Plan for future use.

"Every road that connects to another road in Chapel Hill has been studied and recommendations have been made on whether or not to do something," said Garrett Davis, Chapel Hill transportation planner.

They are plans many hope turn into action in hopes of creating a connected but more importantly a safe avenue for cyclists.

"We think that people should have the choice to ride a bike, and there are some conditions on our roadways that for most people preclude them from making that choice," Davis said.

Anyone with information on the deadly hit and run from Thursday is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 919-732-2551.

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