Drivers, walkers cautioned after pedestrian is killed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drivers, walkers cautioned after pedestrian is killed

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September 4, 2007

Dougherty County-  A Dougherty County man was struck and killed while walking along Leary Road early Tuesday.

A Sport Utility Vehicle passing a tractor trailer hit 47 year old Richard Davis who was walking east. Tuesday night, police warn drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other.

This crash happened on Leary Road about a mile east of Newton Road just after six Tuesday morning. It was still dark, but Dougherty County Police say it could have been noon and it still might have happened. While it's unfortunate because many walk roadways like this one police say what happened today serves as an important reminder for everyone.

Like Eldon Cleveland, many in Albany and Dougherty County walk area highways as a way to get around. Outside of the city, sidewalks are scarce.

"It is dangerous to have to walk on the road with traffic but if you're going somewhere that's the only way you're going to get there," said Eldon Joe Cleveland, a walker.

Richard Davis was another known to walk and bike this stretch of Leary Road.  Tuesday, Davis was hit by an SUV and killed.

"The SUV, it was a jeep, pulled out around the semi and was apparently on top of him before he realized it, " said Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek.

Police say it happened so fast there were no skid marks. It serves as a warning to both pedestrians and drivers, you've got to be cautious.

"Pedestrians have a legal right to be there and traffic flow and traffic regulations apply to people walking or bicycles or roller-blading or whatever," said Cheek.

"It's dangerous because cars are running more than the speed limit says so, I just have to be careful, " says Cleveland.

The driver 26 year old Christopher Nail of Baxley is charged with driving with a suspended license, refusal to take a DUI test, and obstruction for lying to police initially by saying Nail's passenger was the driver. Nail's passenger 24 year old Brian Spell is also charged with obstruction. Walkers say this incident will make them more cautious in the future.

"You got to watch out for the cars cause if you don't watch out for the cars you just might get run over," said Cleveland.

Dougherty County Police say they did find prescription drug bottles in the car and on Nail's person, because of that they asked him to submit to a drug test, but he refused. They say even if it is a prescribed medication if it's found to affect Nail's driving he could be charged with Driving Under the Influence, because of that, this case remains under investigation.

According to statistics for Albany and Dougherty County there are approximately 25 to 30 pedestrian collisions with motor vehicles each year.

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