Officers renew call for safety after several deadly pedestrian crashes

Officers renew call for safety after several deadly pedestrian crashes

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Law enforcement officers across central Virginia are renewing the call for safe driving after another person was killed while trying to cross the road.

Chesterfield police responded to the crash involving a pedestrian Monday night on Jeff Davis Highway. That was the fifth deadly crash involving a pedestrian so far this year in the County.

Sergeant James Lamb with Chesterfield Police said he’s concerned about the number of pedestrian crashes that have been seen recently. Several deadly crashes occurring within the last two months.

“The pedestrian ones are very tragic because unfortunately they’re just worse,” Lamb said. “We’re not designed to get hit by a car.”

Lamb added responding to these types of crashes is difficult.

“We do some different things with mental health counseling, because we see so much of it in the traffic safety unit, to address those issues and give them the opportunity to talk to somebody,” he said.

So far in 2019 Chesterfield County as seen 41 crashes involving pedestrians, five of them were deadly.

While these types of crashes are seen year round, police across RVA have seen a good number recently. According to the DMV crash map, six deadly crashes have occurred across Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico and the city of Richmond since Oct. 1.

“This time of year is particularly more dangerous because it does get darker earlier,” Lamb said. “A lot of the roadways in the county are not lit.”

Lamb encourages anyone who may be walking along the road to wear visible, reflective clothing and walk against traffic so you’re aware of your surroundings. As for drivers, they need to minimize distractions.

“You have to be cognizant of what’s going on in the roadway ahead of you,” Lamb said. “Put your phones down, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by whatever is in your car.”

Looking at surrounding jurisdictions, so far this year the DMV has reported 125 pedestrian crashes in the city of Richmond, five of them were deadly. Hanover County has had 10 crashes, one deadly. Henrico Police said they’ve had 101 crashes, with eight of them deadly.

Below is a chart comparing the number of total pedestrian crashes in 2018 compared to 2019 thus far.

JURISDICTION 2018 PEDESTRIAN CRASHES 2018 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES 2019 PEDESTRIAN CRASHES (SO FAR) 2019 PEDESTRIAN FATALITIES (SO FAR)
CHESTERFIELD 46 7 41 5
HANOVER CO. 12* 4* 10* 1*
HENRICO CO. 91* 9* 101 8
CITY OF RICHMOND 144* 2* 125* 5*
TOTAL 293 22 277 19
* = Per the DMV website

While being at the scene of these accidents is difficult, there’s something that’s even more gut wrenching for these officers.

“Always thinking about the family members we have to go and tell,” Lamb said. “We try to always see what could be done differently or what suggestions we could make to VDOT and the County to make our roadways safer.”

Again, police urge all drivers and people out walking or jogging to be aware of their surroundings especially during this time of year.

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