Pittsburgh pedestrian fatality sparks safety improvements

According to police reports, the pedestrian accident took place at about 7:00 a.m. as the 53-year-old woman was walking to work. As she crossed the street, she was struck by three vehicles. Following the crash, the woman was taken by ambulance to Allegheny General Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

One of the vehicles that crashed into the woman, a box truck owned by a Canadian floral company, drove away without stopping after the accident. Pennsylvania police eventually located the driver on Interstate 79 near Erie, at which time he denied hitting the woman. He was arrested and charged him with being in an accident involving a death or personal injury.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Department of Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said that the city has recently made significant safety improvements to the Strip District, including enhanced lighting, yield-to-pedestrian signs and cross-hatching lines in crosswalks. However, he admitted that, in light of the fatal accident, it is clear that the city needs to do more to protect pedestrians, such as adding electronic pedestrian alerts at crosswalks.

Hopefully, those improvements will come soon, and will be effective at preventing any additional unnecessary deaths.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “W. Mifflin woman’s death spurs call for more safety in Strip,” Margaret Harding, Dec. 13, 2012