North Myrtle Beach police see an increase in pedestrian involved crashes

Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 7:04 PM EDT
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NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A recent and near-deadly crash in North Myrtle Beach is shining a spotlight on what police said is concerning new data.

North Myrtle Beach Police arrested 48-year-old Robert Buoniconti who hit a 17-year-old near the area of Duffy Street and 24th Avenue North in Cherry Grove. Police documents show the crash happened on the evening of Aug. 4.

Officers with the North Myrtle Beach Police Department said they saw Buoniconti try and leave the scene after witnesses told investigators, Buoniconti was drunk and ‘smelled like alcohol’.

Once officers approached him, they said he appeared to be unsteady on his feet and was slurring his words.

The spokesperson for North Myrtle Beach Police, Patrick Wilkinson, said they’re seeing more cases like this.

“We’ve been trying to make a point as well as far as addressing the crosswalks in the city with our traffic division. It is a common reoccurrence,” said Wilkinson. “People aren’t necessarily paying attention to these crosswalks as people are trying to come across.”

Officials said so far in 2023, 19 pedestrians have been hit by some type of motor vehicle.

Wilkinson said, often time, those cases are intertwined with DUIs. He said so far this year they’ve seen nearly 240 total crashes involving a DUI.

He added, “It’s a process, it’s an investigation. You take what leads that you have in front of you and follow the trail and see what you can come up with.”

Police records show Buoniconti bonded out of jail. Police said the teen is out of the hospital and is expected to be okay.