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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A driver has been charged after police say he hit a CFCC student making her way to class this morning.

It happened around 9 a.m., when a student in her fifth semester at the school was walking on Front Street in Downtown Wilmington, and began walking across Walnut Street.

When WWAY got to the scene, the student who was hit, Petra Costa, was sitting near the intersection where she was hit talking to CFCC staff about her condition.

Costa says she thinks the car that her her was likely going faster than the 25 mph speed limit that is posted on a sign just a few feet from the intersection.

Police cited Richard Ryan Tapia for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a clearly marked crosswalk. Investigators say Tapia hit Costa as he made a left turn.

At the scene, Costa said the car hit her directly in the hip, sending her to the ground where she hit her head. She initially refused to go to the hospital. CFCC staff says Costa was taken to the hospital around 11 a.m. to be checked out. No word on her condition.

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21 Comments on "Driver cited for hitting CFCC student crossing street"

2015 years 9 months ago

the people of Wilmington should still be riding horses , its not the ones from the north it you people here O.M.A.O

Mark Ruth
2015 years 9 months ago

Most time I work windows and office cleaning in downtown and always look make sure any vehicles are stop when go across each intersection . And I notice some pedestrians did not look and cross street avoid hit vehicle.i think it is too dangerous with high traffic count pass CFCC without Hawk signal lights.

2015 years 9 months ago

Sorry Folks I’m LATE to CLASS on this one, really, I’m 50… BUT, My Step-Daughter was taking classes AT CFCC, where-as I’d drop Her off & pick up every Day Before after class(s)…

FACT is I never, could Nor CAN go over 20MPH in the area(s) around CFCC, try it sometime…
You’ll have STUDENTs AND FACULITY texting & talking on their I-phones/ computers, (Kindles per se) NOT paying attention to ANYTHING that is happening around THEM, up to AND Crossing the street…

MORE than once I’d lay into the HORN, just only to get graciously flipped off, or that *Deer in the Headlights** look…

It a DERN WONDER I didn’t Hit some poor KID or TEACHER, IT’s SO BAD I wrote a Letter to the CFCC President/DEAN APPEALING to Him/Her, PLEASE INFORM the students, (and teachers) SAFETY crossing the street talking /texting…
I’m siding with the DRIVER on this one,,, NOT GUILTY….

2015 years 9 months ago

First, was there a crosswalk? It seems that so many people have forgotten that when in a crosswalk, the pedestrian has the right of way, even at an intersection.

2015 years 9 months ago

No, the pedestrian does not always have the right of way.

Where was the student crossing? At the intersection, or somewhere else along the street?

Read the NC General Statutes.

§ 20-174. Crossing at other than crosswalks; walking along highway.

(a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the extreme left of the roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction. Such pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway. (1937, c. 407, s. 135; 1973, c. 1330, s. 33.)

2015 years 9 months ago

Right-of-way or not, only a fool would walk out into a street without looking to see if a vehicle is/was coming….unless the pedestrian doesn’t care about his/her life.

2015 years 9 months ago

I’m glad that the accident didn’t injure you any worse than it did. Don’t you just hate when people make assumptions and don’t even bother to consider the other possible reasons for certain situations?

I personally admire anyone who works their way through college. I had it made when I had the chance to go to college, but I blew it. I worked part-time. I was living with my parents. I didn’t have all the other expenses that a lot of kids incur. I just didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with my life back then. Not getting a degree has been one of the worst decisions of my life. You keep your head up, keep working at it and whatever you do, please see it through. I wish you the very best.

2015 years 9 months ago

Guess the Cops never drive down Dawson street, if so they could write a lot of tickets. However, they down work traffic unless it is on MLK Pkwy.

2015 years 9 months ago

I would like to inform you all that when I was crossing the street there was only one (1) car that had stopped to let me and my friend cross the street. There was no one else. The guy that hit me came careening out around the corner, running the stop sign. According to witnesses his head was bowed. Furthermore, I was not “texting”. Its kinda impossible when cant even afford a phone, right?

And as for my school situation, does it really matter what semester I’m in? I work long hours every night just to pay my way here along with other living expenses. You try it and tell me if you can do it in two (2) years.

2015 years 9 months ago

sucks, but your parents has failed you!

Look both ways ring the bell??

Obivously not with you.

Bound to happen with all idiots crossing the streets these days.

2015 years 9 months ago

…. she is reportedly in her “fifth semester” at a 2-year community college.

2015 years 9 months ago

Front and Walnut? Where there is a 4-way stop? And she says “…was likely going faster than the 25 mph speed limit that is posted on a sign just a few feet from the intersection”?

How can you be going faster than 25 mph “a few feet from the intersection” and not have to slam on your brakes to stop? Did the driver run the stop sign?

Maybe the student wasn’t IN the crosswalk????

2015 years 9 months ago

are posting here. They obviously have no experience WHATSOEVER, dealing with the hardass motorists from Wilmington who think, “Too bad if I hit you because it’s probably all YOUR FAULT anyways. Oh, you had to go to the hospital? TOO BAD! You’re lucky I don’t sue you for staining my paint job with your blood.”

2015 years 9 months ago

So many people trying to manufacture law suits these days. Look out.

People r idiots
2015 years 9 months ago

You people are so judgmental. If you were there, you would of seen her clearly walking in a crosswalk and getting hit. Who cares what year she’s in? And why are you critizing about pedestrians , clearly you don’t walk in a crosswalk. She had the right of way, I was out there he took off and slammed into her. You people on here have no life other than talking about someone else who got hit.

2015 years 9 months ago

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find out that the driver was also a student. I’ve seen, far too many times, students driving like a bat-out-of-hell around the campus. The kids don’t have any regard, whatsoever, for their fellow students.

Guestkeep blowing
2015 years 9 months ago

You never attended college as there are also summer semesters too which some programs require. Maybe she is obtaining multiple degrees or for general education and knowledge advancement, which you should look into. Windy fits you well.

2015 years 9 months ago

Maybe she works or has a family and has to take a lighter student load than the full-time students. Or maybe she is taken classes as she can afford them. There could be a number of reasons she is taking longer than the average situation. Unless you know her situation, you should not judge.

2015 years 9 months ago

Yes five semesters… most 2 year courses at CFCC list 2 fall, 2 spring and huh, 1 summer semester in between. If you choose to skip summer your 5th semester rolls over. Some people attend part time for years some people graduate with two different degrees… either way, after that time she is no doubt seasoned in the ridiculous that takes place on the streets near that college and I’m sure she thought it was safe. Way to be a troll.

2015 years 9 months ago

A: was the student talking on the phone?

B: did the student look before crossing?

C: did the driver stop, and did anyone interview him/her?

2015 years 9 months ago

Regardless a pedestrian always has the right of way…so whether she looked or was on the phone all odds are in her favor! Just a thought…


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