86-year-old pedestrian fatally injured

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2002

An 86-year-old man died from injuries sustained after being struck by a car Wednesday night as he tried to cross Mendenhall Loop Road near Tongass Boulevard. Lloyd Dedrick, who worked as a paper carrier for the Empire, was pronounced dead at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

No charges are pending against the 45-year-old woman who drove the car, said police Sgt. Ben Coronell. Police did cite her for failure to show proof of insurance.

The Empire is withholding the driver's name because she wasn't charged with a crime.

According to a police press release, the woman was driving her 1992 Chevrolet sedan around 7:40 p.m. on Mendenhall Loop Road when Dedrick ran across the street in front of traffic. The woman couldn't have avoided hitting Dedrick with her car, police said. He was struck by the left side of her vehicle.

"She didn't see him until it was too late," Coronell told the Empire today. "I'm sure the weather also played a part because it was pretty dark and pretty rainy outside. ... I think he grossly underestimated the time he had to cross."

Police said Dedrick was not in a crosswalk and was wearing dark-colored clothing. Coronell said the driver was not speeding, and alcohol and drugs were not factors in the accident.

When police arrived, Dedrick was lying in the middle of Loop Road. The sedan that struck him was parked among vehicles of passersby who had stopped at the side of the road to help the victim, said Capital City Fire and Rescue Capt. Dave Boddy.

Dedrick sustained multiple fractures and severe chest bruising, Boddy said. Dedrick was unconscious when emergency crews arrived, Boddy said.

Dedrick was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:37 p.m. The driver, who wasn't injured, was taken to the hospital for evaluation and released, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Dedrick was a newspaper carrier at the Empire for 17 years, said supervisor Ernie Williams.

"He was one of the very first original carriers, from what I understand," said Williams.

Williams keeps a letter Dedrick wrote to him over his desk. He said Dedrick was a very religious man and would put his beliefs into words to share with others.

"He was a very quiet man, but when he did have something to say he'd say it direct," Williams said. "He had a sense of humor sometimes. He'd kid about his route. If he made a mistake, he'd be the first one to say, 'Oh well, that's old age for you, can't remember too much.' "

Williams said Dedrick didn't do the job for the paycheck.

"He looked at it as a way to better the community and he liked the company of the people here," he said.

Chad Clevenger, an inserter who worked with Dedrick for several years, said once Dedrick got going there was no stopping him.

"He could talk about anything and everything," said Clevenger. "He used to say, 'Well, being 80-something years old there are a lot of things to talk about.' "

Williams said Dedrick wasn't someone anyone who met him could forget. Williams said he was "just one of those guys you meet once and they rub off on you."

Dedrick's family was not available for comment.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneauempire.com.

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