An Idaho Falls man was struck and killed last month while crossing 1300 East in Salt Lake City. The crash happened around 7:00 a.m. on December 6 early in the morning commute, and it was reported that it was still dark and that the driver could not stop in time. The victim, Lester Dewey, was taken to a local hospital but could not be saved.
Charges were not filed at the time against the driver who struck Dewey. It was noted in accounts of the accident that Dewey had been jaywalking. A Salt Lake City Police Department spokesperson pointed out that there was a crosswalk and crossing lights a short distance away. The stretch of road where the crash happened is an overpass across Interstate 80 near Sugar House Park and Highland High School.
Pedestrians need to stay alert for motor vehicles. Just because a pedestrian has a walk signal and is in a crosswalk, that doesn’t mean that he or she can stop paying attention. However, whether a pedestrian is jaywalking or not, drivers also need to be aware of what’s going on around them and work to avoid crashes.
Pedestrians are obliged to follow certain rules when crossing the street, and they can (in theory) be fined for violating them. But drivers must also follow many rules and regulations, and those who behave recklessly can face harsh penalties if their actions lead to a crash. Everyone has to do his or her part.
Nationwide, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise and Utah is no exception to that trend. In 2015, Utah saw the most pedestrian deaths (forty-nine) since 1987. By early November, 2016 had seen thirty fatal pedestrian incidents across the state, and officials were concerned because some times of day see double the number of pedestrian accidents during the winter.
Glancing at local news headlines confirms the extent of the problem: in Salt Lake City alone, it’s rare for a month to go by without at least one serious pedestrian accident (fortunately not all are fatal). Just a few years ago, the state noted that the Salt Lake-Ogden area was the thirty-first most dangerous metro region in the United States for pedestrians.
Utah has been making an effort to counter that situation, most notably with the Zero Fatalities / Heads Up Utah initiative. It has the goal of reducing all traffic deaths to as close to zero as possible, and pedestrians are a key component.
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of a pedestrian crash, it’s important to work with an attorney who can give your case the attention it deserves. At Craig Swapp & Associates, we understand pedestrian accident law and have helped numerous clients recover damages for their injuries.
We offer a free consultation to every client, so give us a call today at 1-800-404-9000. You can also reach us online through the form below or launch the LiveChat feature from any page of this website.