Crosswalk danger: Another pedestrian hit

news-pedestrian-craigPat Craig was struck in a crosswalk as she and her 16-year-old poodle, Lady, crossed South Street on Monday morning, June 1.

Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on improved crosswalks may be helping make city streets safer, but it's small consolation to one downtown resident who was struck in a crosswalk on Monday morning, June 1, as she attempted to cross South Street.

Sixty-three-year-old Pat Craig was waiting on a sidewalk between Water and South streets around 8:20am, on her way home to subsidized apartment complex Midway Manor. Believing that cars in all directions at the five-way intersection of Ridge/Main/Water/South streets were stopped, Craig, using a cane and walking her 16-year-old poodle, Lady, says she started south across South Street. She didn't make it to the other side.

"I heard a roaring, then, boy, he whammed into me," she says, less than 30 minutes after the accident. Craig says she ended up on the hood of the car. Her dog was uninjured.

Although an ambulance arrived within minutes and her leg was "beginning to hurt," she declined emergency medical treatment and said a family member would take her to the hospital after she took her dog home.

news-pedestrian-scenePolice investigate a June 1 accident in which this white Subaru wagon, driven by teenager, struck a pedestrian as she attempted to cross South Street downtown.

The 17-year-old driver of the Subaru wagon that struck Craig says he was blinded by the sun as he passed through a green light at West Main and crossed over to South Street. As soon as he saw Craig in the middle of the intersection, "I slammed on the brakes," he says,  but wasn't able to completely come to a stop until he'd already struck Craig.

"I was on the phone to police as I got out of the car," the visibly upset teen tells a reporter.

For police, this incident and others like it force interpretation of the laws regarding pedestrian and vehicle right-of-way.

In November 2007, a wheelchair-bound pedestrian was struck by an Albemarle County police cruiser as he crossed West Main Street. That case made headlines when police ticketed the pedestrian instead of the officer. Although the charge was eventually dropped, the situation stirred outrage and helped prompt the $700,000 pedestrian improvement plan.

This time, the driver was ticketed.

Craig admits she did not press the button to trigger a new pedestrian signal. The 20-second walk signal "doesn't give you time to get across," complains Craig, who chose instead to walk when she believed no cars were coming. Because she was "committed" to the crosswalk–- and had already made it halfway across when she was struck–- police believe she had the right of way.

"Pedestrians have the responsibility not to step out into oncoming traffic," says Sgt. L.A. Durrette, but "the motorist is supposed to have the responsibility of not hitting people in the street."

Durrette charged the driver with failure to yield to a pedestrian.

"He had time to see her in the crosswalk," Durrette says.

Read more on: crosswalkpedestrian


cville sucks. "Craig says she ended up on the hood of the car. Her dog was uninjured.

Although an ambulance arrived within minutes and her leg was ââ?¬Å?beginning to hurt,” she declined emergency medical treatment and said a family member would take her to the hospital after she took her dog home."

AFTER she took her dog home. her dog was uninjured. who cares? uhm can we say bad journalism and a bad interveiw. the kid shouldnt have been charged. she should have been and have had to pay for ignoreing the city's $2million crosswalk lights that dont last long enuf for you to mske it to the other side.

Why is it bad journalism? Not the reporter's fault that she declined medical treatment and took her dog home. I was definitely curious to know whether the dog was hurt and I'm sure others were as well.

Ms. Craig is right; the walk signals in Cville often don't provide enough time, especially if you're not a fast walker. However, if the kid was blinded by the sun, then he should've slowed way down. Since none of us witnessed the accident, it's impossible to conclude who was truly more at fault.

I still say the poodle should have gotten smooshed. To teach both parties a lesson.

I think we are all missing the real tragedy here which is the fact that the poodle was uninjured.

Mr/Mrs/Miss Really, that the second dumbest thing you have posted here this morning.

People don't pay any attention to Internet trolls here. Well, except me perhaps. They love to see what I am going to say next. :)

Absolutely amazing. A police car hits a wheelchair bound pedestrian, and the pedestrian gets charged.

A police car almost runs two pedestrians over in a crosswalk downtown, and the pedestrians get arrested for drunk in public.

The same type of accident happens to a civilian driver, and the civilian is charged with a traffic offense.

I don't even need to ask what's wrong with this picture, do I?

Having said the above, don't get me wrong. All I am saying is the kid should have been charged, and was. The cop should have been charged, and wasn't. And the near hit, the cop should have gotten out of his Jeep and at least apologized to the pedestrians.

solr... maybe the police department has learned a little bit from their past mistakes. I am willing to wait and see. Are you?

So a ped admittedly ignored a traffic signal that the City just upgraded and the driver gets a ticket? If a driver admitted to just going when they thought everything was clear it would be obvious who gets the ticket. This is an unfortunate event, but if the person at fault admits fault and doesn't get a ticket, there's another problem to deal with. Nobody is better than a traffic signal, we have to stop thinking we can pick and choose when to obey them depending on our mode of travel and or guess as to whether or not its clear. The reason signals are installed is that the intersection became too busy to allow people to just guess when they can go safely. Please, just wait your turn like everyone else at the signal, and be safe about it.

Why would you need to put in here that she lives in subsidized housing>? What does that have to do with anything? Christ/. What does someones financial situation have to do with crossing the street? Hawes you ought to be ashamed of yourself per usual.

Ranger Dog........ no. The police never learn. They made a very serious mistake in reference to myself back in 1997. They repeated themselves in 2005 when they thought it was all over and everybody had forgotten their first mistake. Ya see, I am a firm believer the second "mistake" came to be because I had prevailed in my lawsuits against them in their 1997 mistake.

In the second mistake, 3 defendants settled out of court when I sued them, I have outstanding judgements against 2 defendants, and the lawsuit against a 6th defendant is still awaiting trial.

Will they make a third "mistake". Dayum right they will, it's just a matter of time. Once they have a case of the butt for someone, they are relentless and never give up.

You know the sad part about all of this? The taxpayers have to pay all the damages and awards for all these "mistakes".

You were asking about their ability to learn, right? Did I answer your question about their intelligence?

Thurston, subsidized is no longer a negative connotation. Think about it. The men on the auto assembly line making $50+ in salary and benefits are now subsidized by our taxes. The word "subsidized" is fast becoming a status symbol in this country.

Oh no, I see her walk by my office twice a day, every day. I hope she's ok.

In this situation, I can see ticketing both parties. The pedestrian ignored two signs that she was in the wrong: she crossed against the traffic signal AND against the pedestrian signal. The car at least had a green light. Don't get me wrong. The driver deserved a ticket, too. If you can't see, proceed with EXTREME caution (at your peril), dang it. And the cop who hit the guy in the wheelchair definitely deserved a ticket. In that case, at least the guy in the wheelchair was crossing with the traffic signal, if not the pedestrian signal. He was hit by a cop turning left, so the traffic signal was in his favor. Also, the ordinances at the time didn't take into account pedestrian signals with symbols instead of "Don't Walk" on them. The signal had a symbol on it. He didn't disobey a "Don't Walk" signal, per se. So, based on a technicality in the ordinance, the wheelchair guy violated no laws. Or at least, that's how I remember it all shaking out.

The pedestrian lights are definitely too short downtown. They need to be longer. But that doesn't mean you fail to press the button to get a signal entirely. Or that you ignore a traffic signal on top of failing to request a pedestrian signal. Tickets all around. I walk about 80 to 90% of all the places I go. I have responsibilities as a pedestrian. I'd expect to be ticketed in that situation. Same as the driver.