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Albany man’s death raises questions about pedestrian safety

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Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 12:47 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The city of Albany is seeing an increase in deadly pedestrian crashes, according to Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.

The family of a man who was hit and killed while crossing the street on his birthday is speaking out after losing their loved one on Friday.

James Toomer was crossing the road in the 300 block of East Oglethorpe Boulevard when he was hit, Albany police said.

His niece Kathleen Toomer and her family are raising questions about the moments leading up to her uncle’s death.

Kathleen Toomer niece of James Toomer
Kathleen Toomer niece of James Toomer(WALB)

“That was my uncle and he didn’t have to go like that,” she said.

Kathleen Toomer spoke passionately to me today about her uncle James C. Toomer who was hit and killed on Friday night in Albany. She says he was celebrating his birthday when his life was taken. She says she wants a full investigation into the moments leading up to his death. Meanwhile, Dougherty County coroner Michael Fowler says he is seeing an increase in pedestrian deaths to start the year and he is afraid that number may increase.

Posted by Kiera Hood WALB on Monday, March 28, 2022

His sister Catherine Isaac said he always walked to get places but says this was senseless.

“He was on the way to the store over there the Dollar General like he always does. Getting him snacks and candy for his nieces and nephews when a car hit him and kept on going,” Isaac said.

Catherine Isaac sister of James Toomer
Catherine Isaac sister of James Toomer(WALB)

Coroner Fowler said pedestrian fatalities now stand at four for the year 2022, fearing that number could increase.

“We are trying to do everything we can to inform you to be safe. If you’re taking a chance on an unlit road with no lights, it’s dangerous. Wear something light, some light clothes or something so someone can see you,” he said.

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