Lee County walker struck by tow truck, pedestrian accidents frequent

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Four Georgians have been struck and killed by motorists as they crossed streets just this week.

And, Tuesday night, a Lee County man was hit by a truck as he crossed U.S. 19 at Century Road.

The intersection is the scene of construction as the D.O.T works to make the area safer for drivers, walkers and bikers in the area.

Albany Trooper and Post Commander Sgt. Shawn Urquhart says, "That intersection, Century and 19, is not a good place for pedestrians and we have worked a lot of fatalities with pedestrians crossing the road."

On Tuesday, a 35-year-old Lee County man was walking to the Citgo gas station.

A driver, who stopped at a stop sign and proceeded with caution as he turned onto U.S. 19 toward Leesburg simply did not see the walker and the pedestrian was clipped by the back of the truck.

The walker was treated for injuries at Phoebe North, and the driver was shaken by the experience.

The driver was not at fault, and was not charged.  We are told he has called troopers to check in on the status of the walker, too.

Sgt. Urquhart says, "When a person is walking they need to wear something with a reflector because a lot of times white clothing and light clothing (is not seen by drivers)."

Slappey Boulevard in Albany is another area where people cross frequently.

Within minutes, we filmed one man running quickly across the four lane road, followed by another man taking a slower pace who even walked right in front of a car, forcing it to slow down.

Sgt. Urquhart sighed when asked about jaywalkers and said, "You still have to yield to them.  You don't want to run out there and hit them. And the speed on Slappey is lower then most people think.  We see people drive 55 to 60 miles per hour."

The speed limit on Slappey is 35 or 40 miles an hour in some places.

Law enforcement say it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to take care and watch for walkers and bikers, even when the pedestrians aren't following the rules.

Sgt. Urquhart says, "Pedestrians have the right of way whether you want to admit it or not."

And, the hope is less distracted driving, coupled with more care taken by walkers, will lower the number of pedestrian traffic accidents.

The Lee County man hit by the tow truck last night sustained minor injuries, and we are told he is recovering.

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