Three Pedestrians Hit in Separate Accidents

A 42-year-old St. Augustine, Florida woman was killed Friday night after authorities say she walked in front of a moving car. She was crossing Florida 207 when she was hit by a Honda sedan about 6:20 p.m. The driver was identified as a 55-year-old female from St. Augustine by the Florida Highway Patrol.

In a separate pedestrian accident in Florida about an hour later, a man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Friday night after he was hit by a car in Northwest Jacksonville. The unidentified man was standing near the center of West Moncrief Road near Raines Avenue waiting for the traffic to clear, said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Then the driver said the man just darted into traffic about 7:30 p.m. where he was hit. The man was taken to Shands Jacksonville hospital. Charges will not be filed against the driver.

On Tuesday, a pedestrian was struck and killed by an SUV at the rain-drenched intersection of North Main Street near 53rd Street. Police say the man was trying to cross the street when he walked in front of the vehicle.

The Times-Union reports the man’s relative identified him and that he didn’t have a car and walked everywhere he went. He later died at the hospital. No charges have been filed in that case.

Our condolences go out to the family members of these pedestrians, who have every right to cross a street as a car does to drive down one. We are sorry for your loss.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, in 2005 there were 576 pedestrians killed in the state, nearly 8,000 crashes that injured pedestrians and 8,626 pedestrian crashes.

Florida is reported to be the most dangerous state for walking in the country. Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville and their surrounding areas were found to top the list for hazardous cities as deemed by the Pedestrian Danger Index, used to determine danger for walkers in urban areas. These areas seem to have automobile oriented development and high speed cars that are a particular hazard to walkers. The Florida weather also encourages people to be outside at least nine months of the year.

Nationwide more than 9,000 pedestrians were killed in collisions with cars and trucks in 2007 and 2008. 70,000 were injured according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
When Pasco County tried to uncover what led to pedestrian deaths in 2003, it found alcohol use by drivers and pedestrians, coupled with poor lighting on the roads, and a lack of sidewalks or crosswalks all contributed to the deaths.

When you are walking alongside a road in Florida, know that the driver is probably thinking more about himself than you.

Source articles: http://jacksonville.com/community/my_st_johns_sun/2009-11-07/story/pedestrian_dies_after_walking_in_front_of_moving_car_in_s; http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2009-11-07/story/pedestrian_hospitalized_after_northwest_jacksonville_crash; http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091109/lf_nm_life/us_walking_cities_deaths

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