Pedestrian killed on uptown Charlotte highway early Saturday, driver charged with DWI

A pedestrian was killed on Brookshire Freeway in uptown Charlotte just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, and police arrested the driver on a charge of driving while impaired.

Police identified the pedestrian as 25-year-old Deonte Lamar Wilkins. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Wilkins was crossing a poorly lit part of the highway between Graham Street and Interstate 77 when he was hit by a Toyota Camry, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police news release.

The Camry driver, headed northwest, appeared to be within the posted 50-mph limit but “was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian,” according to the release.

The driver, 30-year-old Tucker Ryan Rhodes, was released from jail by a magistrate on $1,000 bail, according to jail records. Rhodes remained at the scene, police said.

Brookshire Freeway is the official name of I-277/N.C. 16 in uptown.

Other drivers crashed trying to avoid the collision, police said, but no injuries were reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective Andrew Oberer with the CMPD Major Crash Investigation Unit at 704-432-2169.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.