Tulsa records 188 auto-pedestrian accidents in 2012
BY KENDRICK MARSHALL World Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2013
1/21/13 at 1:26 PM
Correction: A Monday Tulsa World story incorrectly stated when Elijah Rivers, 7, was struck and killed by a vehicle near Virgin Street and Harvard Avenue. The accident happened shortly before dawn on Oct. 31. This story has been corrected.
There were 188 auto-pedestrian accidents in 2012, according to Tulsa Police Department data.
Many of them were due to pedestrians failing to use protected crosswalks, crossing in dimly lit areas or attempting to beat oncoming traffic, police said.
Pedestrians staying away from so-called bad locations that lack sufficient lighting or crosswalks could cut down most serious collisions, said Officer Craig Murray, the Police Department's traffic safety coordinator.
"This does not mean these locations are not legal, but pedestrians should be careful trying to cross in the middle of the road or where there are no lights," Murray said.
Pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night also increase the danger, Murray said.
"It is important for people to use sidewalks if possible," he said.
There were seven auto-pedestrian collisions that resulted in fatalities last year, down from 10 in 2011, police said.
Those figures include bicyclists.
The first of 2012 involved Bobby Sid Richardson, 50, a bicyclist who was struck along 101st East Avenue near 12th Street on Jan 7.
Two days later, the body of 43-year-old Lelah Kelley was found in a ditch in the 2700 block of North St. Louis Avenue. A police investigation determined Kelley was struck by a vehicle.
Following the death of JoAnn Carlson, 80, who was struck by a vehicle while crossing at the intersection of 15th Street and Rockford Avenue on Dec. 15, her family contacted the Mayor's Office about getting lighting installed around the popular Cherry Street area.
The driver of the vehicle who hit Carlson has not been arrested, police said.
There are plans to install 20 LED lights between Utica and Peoria avenues on 15th Street near where Carlson was killed, city spokeswoman Lara Weber said.
The city is also expected to add stop signs and crosswalks at West Pine Street and North Union Avenue.
That's near where a 12-year-old girl was hit on Jan. 9.
The girl, who suffered minor injuries, ran in front of the vehicle, said police, who determined the driver was operating the vehicle properly at the time of the collision.
Weber said the traffic projects were scheduled before both accidents.
Mark Brown, Tulsa traffic engineer manager, said the city has expanded curbs to help decrease pedestrian exposure to streets.
He also said the city will begin remarking pavement this spring.
After 7-year-old Elijah Rivers was struck and killed near Virgin Street and Harvard Avenue just before dawn on Oct. 31, area residents demanded the city place fencing in high traffic areas to protect residents.
Murray said the best way to prevent future auto-pedestrian collisions is for both motorists and pedestrians to be aware while traveling and watch out for each other.
"It's important that pedestrians use crosswalks and not assume cars will stop for them," said Murray. "They have to wait until traffic clears before crossing. Drivers could be distracted, looking at phones or trying to program the radio."
2012 Tulsa auto-pedestrian fatals
JoAnn Carlson, 80, was struck by a vehicle while crossing at the intersection of 15th Street and Rockford Avenue Dec. 15
Elijah Rivers, 7, was killed after being hit by a car while attempting to cross the street near Virgin Street and Harvard Avenue Oct. 31.
Shaine Adele Harris, 38, was killed Oct. 27 as she crossed Yale Avenue along East 33rd Street.
Lelah Kelley, 43, was found in a ditch in the 2700 block of North St. Louis Avenue Jan. 9.
Bobby Sid Richardson, a 50-year-old a bicyclist, was struck along 101st East Avenue near 12th Street on Jan 7.
Information on two others who were struck and killed was not immediately available.
Source: Tulsa World archives
Original Print Headline: Crossing the street at night risky business
Kendrick Marshall 918-581-8386