Last February, a 63-year-old man was killed while using a crosswalk on Pacific Avenue. In May, a 60-year-old man was killed at another crosswalk on 16th Street after a driver hit him, stopped briefly, then quickly sped away. The next day, police announced that a 44-year-old woman was killed in yet another hit-and-run while trying to cross 25th Street. A month after that, a couple were involved in another hit-and-run in another crosswalk on Burnett street. The 30-year-old woman was killed, while a male was critically injured and taken to the hospital. The driver of the white sedan is still being sought by police.
According to police, there were no pedestrian fatalities in the area at all. They credit the recent rash of hit-and-run fatalities to motorists failing to yield to pedestrians. As part of the crackdown, police recently handed out 65 citations in one day near the intersection of Pacific Ave. and Burnett Street. The citations were for traffic violations which included distracted driving, crosswalk violations, and speeding.
Some area residence are happy about the increased police presence and traffic enforcement, while others believe it isn’t a long-term solution and would like to see more action taken. The intersection of Pacific Ave. and Burnett Street, where three of the fatal hit-and-runs occurred, is widely known by residents in the area to be a dangerous one as vehicles are known for not yielding to pedestrians there during the day. In the evening, residents claim, the lack of proper lighting makes it extremely difficult to see pedestrians, and those who happen to be wearing dark clothing are especially at risk.
There’s currently no timeline as to the duration of the crackdown, though it’s likely going to continue for at least a little while. Whether or not any permanent solutions will come into play is unknown.