Press Release: Deadly Weekend for Pedestrians early in 2018

This past weekend was marked by four crashes involving pedestrians. Three of the victims have died as a result of their injuries. The fourth remains hospitalized.

On Friday, January 26, 25-year-old Jyra Hill was struck in the crosswalk of 71 Highway and Gregory before being dragged almost 30 yards. The driver of the vehicle, which police suspect is a 2012-2015 Chevrolet Equinox, left the scene before police arrived.

On Saturday, January 27, a woman was hit on Interstate 435 near Grandview Road. The vehicle was traveling east in the left lane when the victim was struck. The driver of the vehicle pulled to the side of the road and cooperated with authorities.

On Sunday, January 28, a 60-year-old man was found lying in the street after an apparent hit-and-run. A motorist who arrived on the scene after the accident took place positioned her car in front of the victim to divert traffic until police arrived.

“The loss of life is always tragic, but it is made worse by the fact that we’re blaming the victims in each of these instances,” said Eric Rogers, executive director. “Dark clothing is not an excuse for careless driving; people need to watch where they’re going and slow down.”

As Eric Bunch, policy director, put it, “These were not accidents; they were crashes. They speak not only to the callous actions of the drivers who left these people to die; they also demonstrate how the inherent focus on motor vehicles over pedestrians is a recipe for disaster.”

According to data from MARC, pedestrians as a group are killed at a higher rate than those using other forms of transportation. Despite making up less than 3% of total commuters, they represent more than 11% of fatalities and more than 6% of serious injuries.

In addition to covering the numerous pedestrian-related crashes around the metro in recent years, BikeWalkKC has written about why pedestrians deserve better streets.

For more information, contact Karen Campbell, director of development and communications, at (816) 205-7056 (ext. 2) or by email at karen.campbell@bikewalkkc.org.

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