Pedestrian Dies After Driver Has Medical Emergency

Driver had medical emergency and lost control, police say

Monday, Oct 1, 2012  |  Updated 5:16 PM EDT
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Marymount Prof. Dies When Car Jumps Curb

Image of Rhett Leverett courtesy of Marymount University

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A Marymount University professor died Monday morning after a car jumped a curb in downtown D.C.

A driver had a medical emergency while driving around 9:30 a.m. and lost control of her car in the 500 block of 6th Street NW, police said.

Her car jumped onto the sidewalk and hit Rhett Leverett, who was walking his dog. He was transported to a hospital, where he died.

Leverett was a long-time Penn Quarter resident and worked as an assistant history professor in Arlington.

"He demanded a lot of his students, he expected them to work hard, but he wanted them to love the subject,” said Sherri Hughes, academic provost of Marymount University.

Friends and neighbors say they are devastated by the loss of Leverett, reports NBC4's Jackie Bensen. Leverett was well-known in the neighborhood for his Southern charm and many daily walks of his West Highland Terrier, Beth.

As Leverett lay dying, he continually asked those who had stopped to help him whether his dog was all right.

Cynthia Wilson, who took Beth immediately after the crash, called Leverett "the mayor of Penn Quarter."

"He'd be out on his rounds, checking on things, checking on the other residents, checking on the building," she said. "He will be sorely missed by many, many, many people. And hopefully we'll find someone who will care for Beth."

The driver was not severely injured in the crash. It's unknown whether she was transported to a hospital, but her medical emergency was not severe.

Stay with NBCWashington.com for more information.

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