Charges unlikely in crash that killed 91-year-old pedestrian

Helen Byrd
Helen Byrd

(WMC-TV) - Charges aren't likely in the death of an elderly woman hit by a car last week.  The incident happened Wednesday at Lemaster and Union in Memphis.

Monday, family and friends of 91-year old Helen Byrd gathered in front the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception to remember the life of a woman they say was an active member of her church and Midtown community up until the day she died.

"Everyday she would walk to pick up her groceries," said Byrd's grandson, Wyatt Greene. "She would walk to the Post Office."

And it was while walking last Wednesday afternoon that Byrd was struck by a vehicle attempting to cross the busy avenue of Union at Lemaster Street.

According to a police report, Byrd was crossing the street where there are designated handicap curbs, but at an intersection without a crosswalk.

The 24-year-old driver who hit Byrd was cited for failure to maintain a safe lookout, and police are still investigating the incident.

Family members say they refuse to allow this accident to define their mother and grandmother.

"She was a fantastic example for all of us on how to live our lives, and these are really really big shoes for us all to fill," said her grandson, Frank Byrd.

Helen Byrd worked as an emergency service volunteer during World II. Her daughter, Lillian, said her mother never let her age stop her from helping others.

"She never wanted to be old, and she never was," Lillian Byrd said.

Family members said the 91-year-old never forgot a birthday or anniversary, and everyone who loved her will miss receiving her special greeting cards this holiday season.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.