Avon accident: No charges expected in ped death

Charlottesville police now say the pedestrian struck and killed on Avon Street was not in a crosswalk and had alcohol in his possession.

Nearly 24 hours after a pedestrian was killed trying to cross Avon Street Thursday night, there are no charges against the driver, and police say they believe the pedestrian–- 63-year-old Horace Clay Atkins–- was outside a crosswalk when he was struck.

Atkins, who lived on Avon Street, was struck in the 400 block of Avon Street at around 9:20pm March 26, according to a release. He died before EMTs arrived.

The 22-year-old male driver of the car that struck Atkins remained at the scene and called for help, according to the release, and police do not believe that alcohol was involved on the driver's part.

Atkins, however, was in possession of alcohol at the time of his death and an autopsy and toxicology screen are currently being conducted at the University of Virginia Medical Examiner's Office to help determine if alcohol played a role in the accident.

The accident occurred just two weeks after the city began implementing $700,000 worth of pedestrian safety improvements.

–originally posted 12:35am, March 27 and headlined, "Ped killed on Avon Street"


No matter who was at fault this is very sad and could have been any of us. Just one more reminder of how alert all of us must be when driving and crossing the street downtown and near the corner. There are many near misses every day.

Dave, is there further information? was the ped in a crosswalk? jaywalking? what direction was the vehicle coming from? was speed a factor? 29 says man driving the car and your report is that it was a woman? thanks

Could somebody on staff check the "Related Content" widget parameters?

#3 is NOT related content.

Now it's #4 that's not related:

"I Killed My Baby"

The Balfour case had pedestrians in it? Really?

I just watched Death Race 2000 the other day to see early Rocky. I think you got points for pedestrians in that movie.

Like I said in another topic here not long ago, I was taught to wear light colored clothing after dark if I was going to be walking in or near traffic. Being 63 years old, the victim in this case should have heard it many times too when he was younger. But, it's just not taught any longer. The only people who wear light colored clothing in traffic now is the wannabe gangstsa in their white t-shirts. And the only BS that is taught in press releases and news stories now is "the pedestrain always has the right of way". The pedestrain doesn't have anything if he is in traffic in dark clothing and can't be seen.

Another sad reality is the accident took place where one lane turns into two lanes. One car might have darted around another car that was going too slow (or more likely than not slowing down for the pedestrain), and the pedestrian was not seen by the second car because of his dark clothing and the driver's desire to get on down the road rapidly.

Latest news was that the poor kid driving did nothing wrong, the victim had "etoh on board," was dressed in dark clothing and was jaywalking. Now, can we all stop with the hysterics about the dangers to pedestrians in Charlottesville?

Really, someone should sue the city for not being safe enough for pedestrians, I mean take 29 for instance, all those little immigrant with their small children are crossing 4 lanes of highway everyday, and go downtown it is much worse. The City's poor who can't afford cars have to walk to work and it very dangerous, I think they should start making more streets one way or add lots and lots of overhead crossings. Cville is going to be known for the best place to get hit by a car. O and does anyone know if the person drivign the car was a UVA student and if the old man was drunk?

"The accident occurred just two weeks after the city began implementing $700,000 worth of pedestrian safety improvements."

the City can spend all kinds of money trying to make things safer for pedestrians, but you can't fix stupid. Mr. Atkins crossed the street with a crosswalk fifty feet on either side of him, UVA kids will walk in front of you with the expectation that you see them and people seem to think they have the right of way whenever they're in the street. think back to what mommy and daddy taught you and look both ways to make sure it's clear before crossing the street. and Derrick, people attempting to cross US-29 on foot is just one more example of stupid.

Regarding automobile pedestrian relations, there is a very informative interview posted at


One thing discussed by Peter Norton, a historian of Science, Technology and Society at UVA, is the etymology of the word "jaywalking." It is a fascinating interview.