D.C.

Florida Ave. hit-and-run victim gives perspective to Whitfield's death

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ABC7 is getting a new perspective on the hit-and-run that claimed a woman’s life in Northeast D.C. one week ago. It comes from a woman who was the victim of a vicious hit-and-run ten years ago, just feet from where Ruby Whitfield was killed.

Pallbearers carried the body of Whitfield, a grandmother and beloved church member, out of New Samaritan Baptist Thursday morning. It was the final goodbye as Whitfield, 71, headed to her final resting place. The hearse was parked just feet away from the crosswalk where she was hit and killed by a drunk driver.

“I survived and she didn’t,” says Barbara Hinton. “I am grateful, but it still bothers me.”

Ten years ago almost to the day, Hinton, then 32 years old, was crossing Florida Avenue on her way to New Samaritan Baptist when a SUV crashed into her. She was dragged almost a full block.

“I said, ‘Wow, is this how I am going to die?’ That is what went through my mind,” she says.

Hinton says it was a miracle she only suffered severe road burns across the side of her body.

“All of the sudden the driver just stopped and I had the weight of the truck on my body,” she says.

The driver backed up, pulled around Hinton, and got away. The case was never solved. It led to loud calls from the church for a traffic light, but no light was ever installed.

“Her death will not be in vain that something will be done here,” says Eva Everett, a church member.

Mayor Vincent Gray said Tuesday he is pushing for a traffic light.

“I do my best not to have to cross Florida Avenue, I really do,” says Hinton.

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