Captain Thomas Didone, who heads the county police department’s traffic division, is blunt about it.
“People trying to cross are universally ignored by drivers,” he said. “We have done many, many crosswalk stings at that location and every time we go we write as many tickets as we can handle.”
As reported earlier, the cyclist was hit by a car that failed to stop
Towers was peddling home from work at Dynamite Gymnastics at about 7:30 p.m. He made it safely across the first three eastbound lanes to the median strip. Then a car in the right westbound lane saw him and stopped, a car in the middle lane slowed to stop and Tower rode into the crosswalk.
A Toyota 4Runner going “full speed” in the left lane hit him broadside, Didone said.
SHA plans to add some overhead flashing lights and more lighting. No word on charges, yet.
When the full crash investigation is complete, Didone will deliver it to the state’s attorney for a decision on whether the driver should be charged. Didone did not disguise his exasperation with the crash.
“This driver lived on Selfridge [road], which was like two blocks away, so it isn’t like some guy from Topeka, Kansas, was driving through there,” he said.
But while a decision on whether the driver should be charged is pending, Didone sent a report on the incident to the State Highway Administration (SHA) on Tuesday.
“I hate to say that someone has to die for them to wake up, but immediately I sent them a report and essentially said, ‘told you so,’ what are you going to do about it?” he said.
Lora Rakowski of the SHA responded to a reporter’s inquiry on Wednesday, acknowledging that county police had contacted her agency about the fatal crash.
“SHA has an active project underway to add additional flashers at this location,” she said. “This project was initiated to address the occurrence of rear-end crashes along westbound [Veirs Mill Road] at this location.”
Rakowski said the state planned by August to install overhead flashing lights at the crosswalk and to upgrade overhead lighting as well.