Albany Bypass fraught with pedestrian peril - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany Bypass fraught with pedestrian peril

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The death of a man on the Albany bypass is a reminder of the dangers of walking along such a busy road.

 25-year-old Johnny John Martinez was hit by a tractor trailer and killed just before 2:00AM Thursday behind the Albany Mall.  A Southeastern Freight Line truck driven by 38-year-old Jason Adkins from Jasper, Alabama struck Martinez in the westbound lane of the bypass. 

Police say Martinez was wearing dark clothes and the truck driver didn't see him. They don't know where Martinez was going, but they believe he jumped a portion of the bypass fence at the church parking lot that has been partially torn down.  

On the Mall side of the bypass, the fences are also torn partially down, and crudely repaired in other spots. Police say these fences have been repaired several times, but people keep tearing them down and going across 65 mile per hour traffic as a shortcut.

"We have seen this over the years. This is not the first time that we have had a pedestrian killed crossing the bypass," said Albany Safe Communities Coordinator Michele Strickland. "I think often times pedestrians don't realize exactly just how fast 65 miles per hour is, and that those vehicles close in on them much faster than they realize they are going to."

No charges have been filed against the truck driver, as the Investigation continues.  Georgia Department of Transportation officials say the City of Albany is paid to maintain that fence, but note that D.O.T. workers stop and repair holes they see in the wire often. 

So far this year, at least four pedestrians have been hit and killed by vehicles in Dougherty County. City of Albany officials have a plan for a Westover Boulevard extension and bridge over the Liberty bypass near the spot where the man was killed. 

Department of Transportation officials say that bridge is still in the planning stages because of a lack of money.

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.

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