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Bicyclist hurt in Franklin Street crash dies, family announces


Cars drive down Franklin Street on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

UPDATE 02/08/2022: A Caring Bridge update posted on Monday said Watson died on Friday, Feb. 4.

"His family wants to thank you for the outpouring of love and to let you know that donations will be going to help take care of his pups Fey and Poehler," the update said.

The bicyclist involved in the crash on Franklin Street  remains in critical condition at UNC Hospitals and is unlikely to recover, according to a post from a Caring Bridge page set up for the victim Wednesday. 

The resident, identified as Nicholas Watson, was injured eight days ago and has been hospitalized since the crash, which occurred between Roberson Street and Graham Street.

"Nick's doctor's talked to his family last night and informed them that there really is no hope left for surgery or any kind of recovery," the Caring Bridge update read. "With that understanding and their best guess about Nick's wishes they have decided to switch to comfort only care and to let him go on."

According to a statement from Chapel Hill Police Department, the bicyclist was struck and thrown from their bicycle when a driver of a parked vehicle opened their door to exit. 

After the crash, the section of Franklin Street where the incident occurred briefly closed and reopened later that afternoon.

Alex Carrasquillo, Chapel Hill’s community safety public information officer, said the crash is still under investigation. 

During Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Karen Stegman said the bicyclist who was involved in the crash died. She has since apologized on Twitter for the error. 

Watson's family and friends are in the process of planning a celebration of life, according to the Caring Bridge page.   

"Please keep Nick in your hearts today and tomorrow as he prepares for his big journey," the update read. 


@DTHCityState |

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