By Michael Kelley, Policy Coordinator
An individual was killed crossing 71 Highway early Monday morning, marking the fourth pedestrian fatality this year.
51-year old Kevin Hooker was struck and killed around 4:40 a.m. Monday morning as he attempted to cross the southbound lanes of 71 Highway. After emerging from the grassy median, the victim was struck by a Chevrolet Blazer. The driver of the vehicle immediately stopped and called police.
According to authorities, the man died shortly after arriving at an area hospital.
Eric Rogers, the executive director of BikeWalkKC, lamented the accident, saying “While we are grateful that the driver of the vehicle stopped and called police, the unfortunate truth is that a man was killed trying to cross the road. Clearly, we need more routes that will ensure pedestrians can cross without ending up in harm’s way.”
“There are real opportunities to make this stretch of road safer for pedestrians, if only we’re willing to invest the time and resources necessary,” said BikeWalkKC policy director Eric Bunch, noting studies that are currently taking place to improve walkability and connectivity along the corridor that includes the accident site. “Waiting to act means waiting for more people to be injured or killed.”
This is the fourth crash involving a pedestrian so far this year. Back in January, a deadly weekend for pedestrians ended with three pedestrian fatalities.
BikeWalkKC has written previously about the need to protect cyclists and pedestrians here.
For more information, contact Karen Campbell, director of development and communications, at (816) 205-7056 (ext. 2) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BikeWalkKC believes that crashes are not accidents and dark clothing is not an excuse.