ASHEVILLE-- City police have filed charges against an Asheville man in connection with a traffic accident Sunday that killed a pedestrian.
Maximilian Sage Alexander, 29, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving, according to warrants at the Buncombe County magistrate's office.
Alexander was driving a vehicle on Kimberly Avenue when he lost control and struck a pedestrian who was walking on a sidewalk, according to Asheville police.
Virginia Senechal, 66, was killed in the accident, which happened shortly after noon.
Nearby residents were stunned at the accident. When Kara and David Alexander searched for a home in Asheville three years ago, finding property "surrounded by sidewalks was a mandatory thing," said Kara Alexander, who lives on Kimberly Avenue with her husband and their two young children.
Kimberly is a tree-lined street in a neighborhood with sidewalks on both sides of the road. With a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, the avenue also hosts intermittent bike lanes.
David Alexander noted the avenue hosts "a lot of recreation," including frequent runners and bicyclists. The Alexanders regularly walk their dog and walk to a nearby park and their children's nearby school.
They are one of many families in the area, Kara Alexander said.
Vehicles often speed and drivers do not heed the nearby pedestrian crosswalk, the couple stressed. These driving issues are made more dangerous by high volumes of vehicles, and the curves and steep hills that can obstruct views, they added.
Kimberly Avenue neighbors recently put in a petition with the city to address these traffic concerns, and the city recently conducted a survey of traffic on the road, David Alexander said.
The Citizen-Times reported earlier this year that Asheville has seen a steady increase in the number of vehicle/pedestrian collisions in recent years. Asheville is considered the most dangerous city in the state, per capita, for people on foot.
The city ended a five-year period from 2008-12 with an average annual pedestrian accident rate of 8.1 accidents per 10,000 residents, easily the highest among the 10 largest metro areas in the state, according to an N.C. Department of Transportation report.