Pedestrian-automobile traffic accidents; this is a common topic in these pages and for good reason. In any urban area where foot and vehicular traffic mix there are bound to be serious and sometimes fatal collisions between walker, jogger and bicyclists and the larger passenger cars, light trucks, SUV and commercial vehicles. The fact of the matter is, pedestrian injuries and deaths happen with alarming frequency in Baltimore, Annapolis, Washington, D.C., as well as many other towns and cities throughout the state.
As Baltimore automobile / motorcycle accident lawyers and personal injury attorneys, we are hardly surprised anymore that Maryland residents traveling on foot or cycling tend to be struck by passenger vehicles and delivery trucks more often than those elsewhere around the nation. These kinds of accidents can result in closed-head trauma and other potentially fatal injuries.
If there is anything good about the situation, it is that added coverage of these mostly senseless accidents has hopefully raised public awareness to the point that people are taking more precautions when crossing city streets or other high-risk intersections and crosswalks. The same goes for bicyclists who not only must be aware of the dangers of the roads themselves, but also of the car and truck traffic with which they share the roadway.
We’ve mentioned it here before, but the statistics for pedestrian-car accidents are simply jaw-dropping, with an average of three individuals struck daily — that’s people every day — by a car or commercial truck in Washington, D.C., alone. Add to that figure, the more than 80 pedestrians and cyclists who were killed in fatal traffic collisions in 2010 across the District, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.
Nationwide, literally thousands of people die every year across this country after being hit by a car or truck. Sadly, many of these deaths that came at the hands of a negligent individual could possibly have been prevented with the proper awareness training or safer crosswalks and bike lanes.
Not long ago, a woman traversing a street near the exit ramp of Rte 50 in Stevensville was killed by a passing Maryland State Police cruiser responding to a burglary call. According to news reports, the accident occurred around 9pm on a Friday evening as 29-year-old Iraina Curtis was crossing the westbound lane of Shopping Center Drive.
Police reports show that the six-year MSP veteran was responding to a call without his car’s emergency lights or siren activated. The 24-year-old trooper, Travis Nelson, was headed to another location on a report of a burglary when his vehicle hit the female pedestrian.
Police stated that the victim was in the travel lane at the time she was hit, however the cruiser’s speed at the time of the collision was not known. According to news reports, another individual, 20-year-old Jerome Wheeler, was nearby when the woman was hit by the police car. According to police reports, Wheeler was sitting with the victim on a wall bordering Shopping Center Drive prior to the accident, as the two were waiting for their rides.
Based on witnesses, the woman used Wheeler’s cellphone, then stood up and moved off the wall prior to crossing the street and being hit. New reports indicate that the trooper had a 24-year-old ride-along passenger with him at the time of the accident. Both the trooper and the passenger received minor injuries as a result of the crash. At the time of the news item, the MSP was conducting an investigation, which was to be presented to the State’s Attorney of Queen Anne’s County once completed.
Maryland state trooper hits, kills woman in accident, BaltimoreSun.com, September 3, 2011