Pedestrian May Have Been Distracted Before Being Hit

A pedestrian who apparently stepped into the path of an oncoming car Tuesday on East Bethlehem near Bridge Street School may have been distracted by a cellphone.

Charles Scott Thomas III, 29, of 12th Street, Wheeling remained in serious condition Wednesday afternoon with multiple injuries at Wheeling Hospital.

The driver, Bree Spoor, 25, of Shawnee Road, Wheeling was not charged with any accident-related violations, but police did cite her for having an expired registration.

Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball said police are investigating the possibility that the victim may have been distracted.

“It’s somewhat of a bizarre accident,” he said. “It’s entirely possible he may have stepped in front of the vehicle because he was texting or talking on the phone. We found a cellphone in the street near the accident scene.”

He said the Thomas may have been hard for the driver to see because he was a black man wearing black clothing in an area illuminated by harsh lighting.

A police report said police and firemen responded to an 8:45 p.m. call for a pedestrian being struck by a car. Upon arriving at the scene they found a car stopped in the roadway with a pedestrian still trapped under the vehicle. Fire crews, along with towing services, worked to raise the car off the victim.

Kimball said the investigation revealed Thomas may have been struck and then dragged a few feet under the car.

The Wheeling Police Department crash reconstruction team was called to the scene to investigate.