07/31/07 — Hit-and-run case goes to court today

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Hit-and-run case goes to court today

By Lee Williams
Published in News on July 31, 2007 1:46 PM

A LaGrange woman accused in the Nov. 7 fatal hit-and-run of a Goldsboro man is expected to appear in court today to answer charges.

Carol Coletrain Lane, 72, who faces charges of hit-and-run and failure to report an accident in the death of Andy Anderson, 47, was scheduled to appear in Wayne County District Court at 9 a.m.

While Ms. Lane has denied liability in the case, state Highway Patrol investigators say she was driving a Buick LeSabre that struck and killed Anderson as he crossed the median on U.S. 70 East at about 6 p.m.

Anderson's body was discovered the next morning lying in the median near Elroy Fire Station by a passing motorist.

Evidence at the scene provided little help to authorities, but investigators got a break in the case a day later when Ms. Lane's car was spotted by a sheriff's deputy at Madison's Prime Rib on New Hope Road. It had a broken headlight, a cracked windshield and a damaged front-end. When asked about the damage, Ms. Lane told authorities that she thought she had hit a road sign. If she would have known it was a man she had struck, she would have stopped, she said.

Authorities said they were concerned with the fact that Ms. Lane did not report the Nov. 7 accident.

All motor vehicle crashes must be reported if they involve a fatality, a non-fatal personal injury, property damage of $1,000 or more or property damage of any amount to a vehicle seized, according to state law.

Highway patrol officials said it was dark and rainy on the evening of the accident. Anderson was wearing dark-colored clothes and was carrying beverages in his hand at the time of the crash, officials added.

Ms. Lane's son, Jerry Lane, was killed at the age of 32 several years ago. She said she would never intentionally wish her pain on another mother.

The decision to charge Ms. Lane was not made until nearly seven months after the accident. She was cited on May 30.

Ms. Lane was listed as a suspect early on in the investigation by the Highway Patrol, but the decision to charge her was made by Wayne County District Attorney Branny Vickory. Evidence taken from Ms. Lane's vehicle was forwarded to the SBI crime lab on Nov. 27. Vickory's office received the results in January but Vickory said he delayed making a decision on the case until he received a written report.