Pedestrian fatality involves Cherokee officer

A Cherokee Indian Police Department officer hit two pedestrians, killing one, while on patrol Wednesday night.

The incident occurred on the U.S. 441 bypass at about 8:40 p.m. While on patrol, Officer Cody McKinney turned on a vehicle with only one working headlight, and two pedestrians were hit.

Randall Driver, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other pedestrian was transported by ambulance to the Cherokee Indian Hospital where he was treated and released.

“Because one of our employees was involved we have turned the investigation over to the North Carolina Highway Patrol,” said Cherokee Police Chief Ben Reed. “We want to assure the Driver family, our officer, our department, and our community, that we will do everything we can to resolve this tragic incident.”  

The North Carolina Highway Patrol will conduct a full investigation, which will include interviews, accident reconstruction and forensics on the patrol vehicle. The officer will remain on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

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