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After Wednesday morning pedestrian death, safety officials say it's on drivers and pedestrians to prevent more

A pedestrian was killed while trying to cross a street in downtown Colorado Springs
After Wednesday morning pedestrian death, safety officials say it's on drivers and pedestrians to prevent more
Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 20:46:50-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — After a pedestrian was killed crossing a downtown street Wednesday morning, safety officials are urging both drivers and pedestrians to use more caution next time they take to the streets.

Police say two people were walking eastbound on Las Vegas Street toward Tejon Street around 9 a.m. Wednesday. At the same time, they say a semi towing a long flatbed traveling eastbound on Las Vegas began turning right to head south on Tejon. Police say the truck did have a green light.

Police told News 5, after the truck had begun turning, one of the pedestrians continued walking forward into a crosswalk as the truck was crossing it. The pedestrian was pulled under the truck’s trailer.

Officers found the pedestrian dead when they arrived on scene. They say the truck driver remained on scene, but the other pedestrian had left before they arrived.

Police say there is no indication impaired driving or foul play was a factor. CSPD is asking the other pedestrian to come forward and share their account of what happened to help the investigation.

And now, police and safety experts want everyone to know, it’s on all of us to prevent things like this from happening again.

“A significant number of our crashes right now do involve pedestrians,” Colorado Springs Police spokesperson Lt. James Sokolik said.

He told News 5, of the six fatal crashes CSPD has worked so far this year, four involved pedestrians.

“We have concerns… to have this many pedestrian accidents or this many pedestrian fatal crashes,” Sokolik said.

It’s a trend CDOT’s been tracking too.

“We have seen a 50 percent increase in the number of pedestrians that are being killed in auto crashes over the last couple decades,” CDOT Communications Manager Sam Cole said.

So what are the major risk factors?

“People driving above 30, 40 miles an hour, in an urban environment, where there are pedestrians,” Cole said.

He says the bigger the road, the riskier it is to cross.

“Especially if there is no median in the middle for pedestrians to hang out at,” he said.

But if Wednesday's deadly crash downtown is any indication--it can happen just about anywhere.

“No matter what the speed limit, pedestrians shouldn’t be letting down their guard,” he said.

It’s easy to keep your guard up.

“We learned all those basic things in school about paying attention when you cross the road, looking both ways, cross at the crosswalk,” Sokolik said.

“Try to make eye contact with the driver, make sure that they’re slowing down or stopping before you cross the street,” Cole said.

Same goes for drivers.

“Go the extra mile, pay attention, make sure you see them, make sure they see you,” Sokolik said.

“Just use common sense, use common courtesy,” Cole said. “Slow down, let them cross, make sure that you’re not creating a dangerous situation.”