Appeal by defendant from Froneberger, J., at the 20 February Schedule B Civil Jury Session of Mecklenburg.
It is elementary that upon a motion for judgment of nonsuit the evidence of the plaintiff must be taken to be true and must be considered in the light most favorable to him, resolving all contradictions therein in his favor, and giving him the benefit of every inference in his favor which can reasonably be drawn from it. Strong, N.C. Index, Trail, § 21. Obviously, the evidence of the plaintiff, so construed, is ample to support a finding of actionable negligence by the defendant. A judgment of nonsuit on the ground of the plaintiff's contributory negligence can be granted only when the plaintiff's evidence, considered in accordance with the above rule, so clearly establishes his own negligence as one of the proximate causes of his injury that no other reasonable inference or conclusion can be drawn therefrom. Black v. Wilkinson, 269 N.C. 689, 153 S.E.2d 333; Pruett v. Inman, 252 N.C. 520, 114 S.E.2d 360; Bondurant v. Mastin, 252 N.C. 190, 113 S.E.2d 292. Conversely, if the plaintiff's own evidence does admit of no other reasonable conclusion, the defendant is entitled to have his motion for judgment of nonsuit granted and it is error to deny it. Lowe v. Futrell, 271 N.C. 550, 157 S.E.2d 92; Bradham v. Trucking Co., 243 N.C. 708, 91 S.E.2d 891; Garmon v. Thomas, 241 N.C. 412, 85 S.E.2d 589; Sheldon v. Childers, 240 N.C. 449, 82 S.E.2d 396; Edwards v. Vaughn, 238 N.C. 89, 76 S.E.2d 359; Lyerly v. Griffin, 237 N.C. 686, 75 S.E.2d 730.
"Where traffic control signals are not in place or 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 any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection * * *"
"Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk
at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway."
The area included within the lateral boundary lines of Statesville Avenue and the lateral boundary lines of Alma Court, projected across Statesville Avenue, is an intersection within the definition of that term contained in G.S. 20-38(12). Consequently, the plaintiff was crossing Statesville Avenue at an intersection. This circumstance is not enough, however, to give him the right of way over vehicular traffic on Statesville Avenue. Under the foregoing statutes, the pedestrian crossing any highway, even at an intersection, must yield the right of way to vehicles upon the roadway unless the pedestrian is crossing within either a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk.
The term "unmarked crosswalk" is not defined in the Motor Vehicle Laws and this Court has not defined it heretofore. The term is obviously not coextensive with the term "intersection," for the Legislature has not provided that a pedestrian crossing a highway at an intersection shall have the right of way over vehicles, but has conferred such right of way only upon pedestrians crossing "within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection." The statutes of many states define the term "unmarked crosswalk" as the area lying between the extensions of the sidewalk lines over a street at an intersection. In Skaff v. Dodd, 130 W.Va. 540, 44 S.E.2d 621, the Supreme Court of West Virginia was faced with the task of defining the term, as used in an ordinance which, like the North Carolina statute, did not contain a definition of it. It said, "A crosswalk whether marked or unmarked is an extension of the sidewalk lines over streets at street intersections." See also Ellis v. Glenn (Ky.) 269 S.W. 2d 234, where the Court held a pedestrian was within an unmarked crosswalk when crossing the through street of a T intersection within what would be an extension of the sidewalk lines of the street forming the stem of the T. In Van v. McPartland, 242 Md. 543, 219 A. 2d 815, the statute defined a crosswalk as "that portion of a roadway ordinarily included within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at intersections." The Maryland Court rejected the contention that this statute permitted pedestrians by common usage to establish a crosswalk elsewhere and thus acquire the right of way over vehicular traffic.
We construe the term "unmarked crosswalk at an intersection," as used in G.S. 20-173(a) and G.S. 20-174(a), to mean that area within an intersection which also lies within the lateral boundaries of a sidewalk projected across the intersection. See ...