Unfortunately, it is becoming all too common to hear that a pedestrian has been struck while crossing a street in the City of Surrey.
It is one thing to read about it. It’s one thing to hear about it. It’s quite another to witness it.
On the night of Dec. 4, I was returning home after work travelling west along 24 Avenue. With the recent time change, it gets very dark far earlier. It was about 5:30 p.m. and pitch black. I saw the flashing amber lights at the crosswalk at 134 Street near Elgin Park Secondary and came to a stop.
As a young woman began to cross the road, I saw a pickup truck, travelling east, drive straight through the intersection, hitting the pedestrian, and propelling her into the middle of the road (Student struck in crosswalk, Dec. 10).
I jumped out of my car to see if I could help. Many others witnessed the incident and came to assist.
Several students rushed over. They recognized her and quickly called her parents.
Fortunately, she was conscious and talking. The driver remained at the scene and called 911.
One witness moved his car across the intersection, but the cars just drove around his car right passed the scene and then weaved around my vehicle. The only thing I could think of doing was to be a human shield to prevent cars from travelling into the area. I literally had to bang on someone’s hood to get the driver to stop his car.
Once the firefighters arrived, they blocked the intersection with orange cones, and the police cordoned off the area with yellow tape.
The emergency-services personnel were able to stabilize her, and she was later transported by air ambulance to Children’s Hospital.
In order to give my statement to the police, I had to use the same crosswalk to reach the officer. I made sure I waited until the lights were flashing before I crossed the intersection.
After giving my statement, I had to again cross the street to get to my car. Even with the flashing amber lights and the broad zebra markings across road, someone turned left into the crosswalk as I was midway across.
Trying to understand why people were ignoring the crosswalk, I contacted City of Surrey engineering to see if the flashing lights and markings were new and I was told that the zebra crosswalk was added in 2009.
So much for that excuse.
Obviously, the flashing amber lights at pedestrian crossings are simply not catching people’s attention. Maybe they should be flashing red lights, so motorists will stop. Perhaps warning lights could be embedded into the crosswalk along with the zebra strips.
I don’t want to be the next pedestrian to be hit.
Deborah Skaey, Surrey