Police ID Shopkeeper Killed in Pedestrian Accident

Sharon Gerlach, 59, of Middletown, was killed while crossing the road Thursday afternoon

Photo Credit: Olga Enger
Photo Credit: Olga Enger

Newport police released the name of a 59-year-old killed in pedestrian accident Thursday as Sharon Gerlach, 59, of Middletown. She was the co-owner of Portobello Jewelers on Bellevue Avenue.

Police said she was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing Bellevue Avenue. The driver, Craig Madison, 64, of Exeter, was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Police said sun glare might have been a factor in the accident.

This was the second fatal pedestrian accident in the area within a week. On Wednesday, Robert Silvia, 56, of Newport, died after he was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing Memorial Boulevard at Chapel Street in his wheelchair.

The incidents are under investigation by the Newport Police Department.  Patch will provide details as they are made available. 

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Joseph Farias III January 24, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Bellevue not broadway.
Joseph Farias III January 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM
This is so sad , prayers for her , friends and her family.
les voiles January 24, 2014 at 04:39 PM
I was on the scene when this happened, and I believe it was at 2:15 (definitely not later than 2:30). The driver claimed that there was sun-glare. Sun-glare at that time is highly unlikely. I hope the police are looking at the driver's phone records to see if there was text activity at that time.
Shana Gaines January 24, 2014 at 09:41 PM
Rest her sole. Such a shame. Prayers for her family
Barbara Smith January 24, 2014 at 11:18 PM
People are blaming the pedestrians saying that they should look before crossing. I have been halfway across the street on a crosswalk when a car suddenly comes speeding out of nowhere. These accidents were in broad daylight and one victim was in a wheelchair so they were not drunken jerks stumbling into the road. Broadway is especially dangerous to cross. I have been shocked at how many people do not stop for someone in a crosswalk unless the person is right on top of them.
Robert E January 25, 2014 at 02:49 PM
§ 31-18-3 Right-of-way in crosswalk. – (a) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. This provision shall not apply under the conditions stated in § 31-18-6. (b) Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4 and in addition to any other penalty provided by law, a judge or magistrate shall impose a mandatory fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for a second or any subsequent violation of this section.
Shana Gaines January 25, 2014 at 03:30 PM
What is your point? A lady who did nothing wrong is dead.
LK January 25, 2014 at 06:05 PM
A person driving any vehicle should not be traveling so fast that they can not stop for a person or animal. This town does not have a super highway on any streets. Just SLOW DOWN, there is no place to be in a hurry. Justice will be served to the people who cause the death of two people.
Shana Gaines January 25, 2014 at 07:52 PM
There is such a thing as ice and black ice. You can be going 2 miles an hour and if you encounter those conditions, there is little you can do. Professional truckers jackknife and lose control. We weren't there so we don't know. It's for the police investigators to determine
Robert E January 26, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Shana my point was Rhode Island law requires you to stop for pedestrian in a crosswalk.


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