Family questions why woman was fatally hit in road after police helped her with car

The family of Breondra Newman, 22, is looking for answers after she was hit by two cars and killed early Saturday morning in southeast Charlotte, Newman’s older brother, Biko Burt, told the Observer.

Newman was pronounced dead at the scene in the 9600 block of South Tryon Street around 4 a.m., Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said.

A little while before Newman was killed, police said she and two other people were dealing with a disabled car near the intersection of South Tryon Street and Westinghouse Boulevard.

The car was towed away, and police gave the other two people rides home, according to a CMPD news release. Police offered Newman a ride home, according to the news release, but she stayed at the scene after the disabled car was towed away.

Citing witness statements and evidence, police said Newman may have been drinking before she was killed.

Burt said his sister’s phone and ID were towed away in the disabled car, and the family wants to know why his sister was left alone, late at night, potentially intoxicated and with little means to get help.

“We’re gonna make sure that proper protocol, good judgment and moral compass was followed” when the officers made the decision to drive away, he said.

According to a CMPD news release, police are reviewing all video footage of the incident to “ensure that the officers’ actions were consistent with CMPD policy.” Burt said he and his family are waiting to hear the outcome of that review.

Newman grew up in Charlotte and graduated from Harding University High School, where she played soccer and tennis, he said.

She was working on a college degree in sports medicine when she was killed, Burt said, and she was about to transfer from Central Piedmont Community College to UNC Charlotte.

“She definitely was a people person,” he said. “She definitely brought a lot of joy to the conversation.”

Newman loved to learn, Burt said, and she was ready to keep making progress in her life. While attending college, she was also working at the uptown seafood restaurant Eddie V’s and babysitting.

She was the youngest of five children and the only girl, he said.

Burt said he and his family expect to meet with police early this week and find out more about what happened to Newman.

She was reportedly walking back and forth to a convenience store while the car was being towed, according to the CMPD news release.

Officers looked for her at the convenience store after the car was towed, according to the news release — but then they got the report that someone had been hit by a car in the nearby street.

This is the second pedestrian death of 2019, following a fatality on Jan. 1, according to CMPD officials.

Last year ended with a record 28 pedestrian deaths in Charlotte, the Observer reported in December, passing 2017’s record of 27 pedestrian fatalities.

Jane Wester is a Charlotte native and has been covering criminal justice and public safety for The Charlotte Observer since May 2017.