Greensboro mom starts petition to change law after driver hits, kills daughter

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A grieving Greensboro mother hopes a petition can change a law.

Mignon Elkes started a change.org petition after a driver on Sharpe Road in Greensboro hit her daughter back in May. Shortly after, she died at the hospital.

A witness told highway patrol troopers her daughter, Marcella Ritchwood, had dark clothing on, ear buds in and was walking in the road late at night when a driver hit her. No criminal charges were filed.

Elkes believes her 23-year-old daughter was dealing with symptoms of schizophrenia when she decided to go on a walk that night.

“It impacted us deeply,” Elkes said. “I myself have been in grief counseling.”

Elkes told us multiple law firms denied her a civil case because of a contributory negligence law.

They wouldn’t be able to hold the driver responsible, because her daughter was partially at fault.

“Not wanting to take this person for all that they have, just the responsibility of the accident,” Elkes said. “Yes, my daughter had some responsibility. She was walking with her back to traffic. She was wearing all black. We would like just to have the driver claim some responsibility, through the court or law or something like that, but we were not able to do that because no lawyer would take our case”

Dre Fleury is personal injury attorney at Crumley Roberts. He told FOX8 his firm denies hundreds of cases a year because of this law.

Fleury said the law benefits insurance companies and hurts people who have been in crashes.

North Carolina is only one of a handful of states that has it in place.

“I think it's ridiculous it's a law,” said Mindy Childress, Elkes’ neighbor. “What do we pay these high insurance premiums for?”

Childress said she quickly signed the change.org petition.

As of early Wednesday evening, it had more than 300 signatures.