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Driver charged with DWI in fatal hit-and-run of construction worker

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) – A man is in custody after allegedly driving into a construction area and hitting a worker, according to the Wilmington Police Department.

Police reported officers responded at about 1 a.m. Thursday to a call concerning a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian. A driver, identified as 29-year-old Dakota Quinn Knight, drove into the construction area and struck a construction worker, according to police.

The construction worker, identified by police as 53-year-old Michelle Renee Von Seggern, died at the scene.

According to police, Knight ran off after the crash and was found behind a nearby church by a New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Dakota Quinn Knight is accused of driving through a construction site and striking a worker,...
Dakota Quinn Knight is accused of driving through a construction site and striking a worker, resulting in her death. (Wilmington Police Department)

According to jail records, Knight has been charged with felony death by vehicle, felony hit/run serious injury or death, driving while impaired and reckless driving to endanger.

He is being held under a $515,000 secured bond.

The fatal crash highlights the dangers employees at roadway construction sites face.

“When you’re the construction worker, you’re literally three, four, five feet away from vehicles that may be moving 40, 50, 60 miles an hour,” Jon Wallace, a safety consultant for Workplace Safety NC, said.

In his work, Wallace has been on road construction sites and said the work is always dangerous, even without reckless drivers on the roads.

“Worker zone safety is a challenge, and that’s when everything is working correctly,” Wallace said. “When you add inclement weather, nighttime work when you have an erratic or drunk driver, that exponentially increases the risk.”

Wallace said crashes in work zones are getting more frequent.

“I think the problem is worse because there are so many distractions,” Wallace said. “People are taking phone calls, trying to do things on their phone that they shouldn’t be, looking at their navigation system. We just have a lot more distraction than we had in the past.”

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