Sunday, August 22, 2010

Woman dies after being hit by SUV

Roanoke police say the driver lost control and crashed just where the woman was walking.

A woman walking to her house in Northwest Roanoke just after midnight Saturday was killed when an apparently intoxicated man lost control of his SUV, flipped and rolled over her, police said.

The pedestrian, Edith Cook, 44, was dead when paramedics arrived, police said. The driver, Keith Shupe, 33, of Roanoke was in critical condition Saturday night at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Shupe was driving south on 10th Street about 12:30 a.m. before crashing at Grayson Avenue Northwest, Roanoke police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said. Investigators believe he had been drinking, Johnson said.

Before the crash, he had been speeding and was not wearing a seat belt, Johnson said. He has not been charged.

Shupe was convicted of driving under the influence in 2006, according to Roanoke General District Court records. He paid a $250 fine and was sentenced to a year in prison with 11 months and 20 days suspended.

A Rocky Mount native, Cook was a single mother of 24-year-old daughter Porcha, who serves the U.S. Air Force in Germany, and 20-year-old son Martavious, who lives in her duplex on Hunt Avenue Northwest. Five feet tall, Cook was a feisty mother who gave herself to her children, friends said.

"Her kids came first no matter what," said Kelly Lawton, who met Cook as a teenager and was her frequent Spades partner. "She was a good mom."

Cook had spent Friday night comforting a cousin whose mother had died earlier in the day and who lived 10 blocks from her home, friends said. Cook had been looking for work after losing her job cleaning homes and offices earlier in the summer.

People filled her two-story duplex Saturday afternoon. Two friends embraced each other. A man lifted his shirt collar to wipe tears off his cheeks. A woman mowed the lawn.

"I don't know what to say," Martavious Cook said with a blank stare. "We truly love her and we're going to miss her."

Minutes later, two women walked away from the house with candles and balloons. They left them on the step where their friend died.

Staff writer Tonia Moxley contributed to this report.

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