Driver who fatally struck man on Monroe Road failed to clear ice off windshield, police say

Frosty conditions may have contributed to a deadly accident Monday morning. A driver hit a man crossing Monroe Road. Police say the driver hadn't cleared the morning ice from his windshield.

The crash marked the second pedestrian struck and killed along this road this year. Both accidents happened around 6 a.m. and in both cases, the victims were crossing in the middle of the street. However, in this case police say the driver’s vision was impaired.

Police say a car driven by Grigory Kolesnack struck and killed 62-year-old Daniel Wheeler as he was crossing the street. When help arrived Wheeler had already died. 

“Even though it’s hard you still have to have Jesus to be able to overcome something like this,” said Henry Wheeler, the victim’s brother. 

Wheeler’s brother spoke with police on scene. He remembered his brother as a man always willing to help.

“He was an all-around good person he would do anything for you,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler was headed to work at a nearby McDonalds. The owner and operator John Hairston released this statement. 

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our valued team member. Our entire restaurant family is grieving and our hearts and prayers go out to his family during this tragic time.”

Wheeler said of his brother, “He was a volunteer firefighter in Waxhaw and also the writer here in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

Wheeler worked as a firefighter and EMT from the 1980’s into the 1990’ where he made history. The Waxhaw VFD also released a statement saying in part quote: “FF Wheeler was a dedicated member and one of the first African-American firefighters to serve within the ranks of Waxhaw VFD … FF Wheeler is fondly remembered as a committed member who was always upbeat and at the ready to serve his community."

Kolesnack was given a citation, charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving. 

Police say alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash however, was charged because police say his vision was obstructed by ice on his windshield.