Pedestrian accidents are often fatal and it’s shocking how often someone is hit by a car, truck, SUV, or even a big rig or semi truck in Indiana or Illinois – even during the winter months when it’s not so easy to get around on foot, and there are less people out there walking near roadways.
Consider the following tragedies that have been recently reported for pedestrian fatalities here in our part of the country:
1. January 2016: Big Rig Hits Pedestrian on Indiana Interstate 65
The Indiana State Police had to seek the public’s help to try and track down the driver of a semi truck that hit and killed a man named Mark Tobiasz who was walking alongside Interstate 65, near the 208 mile marker. (That’s about 50 miles south of Gary.)
From the looks of things, the pedestrian had run out of gas about a mile down the road, and was on his way to get help when the big rig hit him.
The Troopers issued a press release to try and find the driver of that commercial semi truck, which they believed to be either a Freightliner or a Kenworth because of some parts they discovered at the pedestrian accident site.
No word yet on the status of the Indiana State Police investigation into who is responsible for this fatal pedestrian hit and run. (If you know anything, the Troopers ask that you please contact Detective Sgt. Rick Strong at (219) 696-6242.)
What happens to that big rig trucker if they find him?
Well, he will face criminal charges, similar to those faced by Indiana truck driver who fled the scene of similar pedestrian hit and run accident up in Montana last year. That trucker got jail time, but less than the prosecutors wanted (they asked for 2 years, he served 348 days).
2. January 2016: Lawrence School Bus Hits School Principal and Two Children
It has been less than a month since a shocking accident happened at the Amy Beverland Elementary School over in Lawrence. It was the end of the school day, and kids were being released to go home. School buses were ready to go, parked in a line for the kids to scramble up their steps and begin their commute back to their families.
Sadly, when one of these school buses, fully loaded with 25 kids on board, began moving it suddenly rammed itself over the curb, hitting three pedestrians: two 10 year old children and the school’s principal.
The elementary school principal, Susan Jordan, is being heralded as a true hero in this tragedy as she shoved six to ten kids out of the way of the huge school bus before it could hit them, too. Principal Jordan lost her life in the bus crash; she was declared dead at the scene of the accident.
3. SUV Driver Hits Pedestrian on Indiana 2 near Valparaiso on Valentine’s Day
This past weekend, a pedestrian standing near the Designers Club Salon in the 2300 block of State Road 2 in Porter County was hit and killed when a woman driving a GMC Jimmy sport utility vehicle hit him early on the evening of Valentine’s Day. The pedestrian victim died at the scene.
The SUV driver was cleared of driving under the influence. According to news reports, the driver told police that she saw the pedestrian standing on the highway as she was driving east along Indiana 2. She tried to avoid hitting him, steering the SUV away from the man, but failed to avoid the accident.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Usually Fatal: a Pedestrian is Killed Every 2 Hours in a Traffic Accident
“On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. Fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated 3 percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians.” (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014)
That’s a shocking statistic. What’s even more troubling is that the number of pedestrian accidents in this country continues to rise. It’s obvious that a human being is no match for a moving motor vehicle, whether it’s a family SUV, or a bus, or a big rig.
So, what is being done to combat this danger here in Indiana and Illinois? More in our next post. Be careful out there!