CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed Wednesday night that a pedestrian was struck by an officer in an unmarked vehicle.
CMPD said the off-duty officer was driving in heavy traffic in one of the middle lanes of outbound E. Independence Blvd. when Amber Sanyasi tried to cross the highway.
Detectives said Sanyasi ran in front of the squad car and was hit.
Police said the officer tended to Sanyasi while waiting for Charlotte Fire and MEDIC.
According to CMPD, the officer's vehicle speed wasn't a factor, and the officer wasn't impaired.
Detectives are investigating if Sanyasi was impaired while he remains in the hospital with serious injuries.
Pedestrians aren't supposed to cross Independence Boulevard at the section where the crash occurred.
Unique Davis was selling Italian ice at the shopping center next to where the crash happened, and she said people often cross the highway, which recently underwent new improvements.
"I think now the new construction is only set up for cars," Davis said. "They didn't think about pedestrians at all."
A WCNC Charlotte Defenders investigation found many pedestrians illegally crossed Independence Boulevard despite the dangers.
North Carolina DOT, the city of Charlotte and the town of Matthews recently completed a $100,000 study, which made recommendations to improve pedestrian safety.
The recommendations include better lighting, more visible crosswalks and a taller barrier in the middle of the highway.
MORE ON WCNC CHARLOTTE: