An accident last weekend in which a pick-up truck struck and killed three children and left one adult in critical condition is sparking local activism, according to a report by the Associated Press, reprinted in The Oregonian. The accident took place “in or near a crosswalk” at the same intersection where “a pedestrian was fatally struck two months ago and then carried on the roof of the fleeing car for 11 blocks.”
Citing the Eugene Register-Guard, the news agency describes the area of the fatal Oregon accident involving children as “a stretch of Main Street that’s seen numerous accidents… a 60-foot-wide, five lane commercial stretch, a local artery with lots of intersections, access points for businesses and pedestrians crossing. It also carries traffic from a state highway, Oregon 126, which goes through Springfield and Eugene as it connects Central Oregon and the Oregon Coast.” Despite the spate of accidents along this one short stretch of road, the AP quotes state and local officials defending the safety measures currently in place.
In the latest incident a pick-up truck killed the three children and critically injured a fourth person, a woman, as they were crossing the street near a local grocery store. The children were apparently headed home from the store at the time of the accident. The driver of the truck was reported by AP to be cooperating with the police. This is a significant contrast to the December incident at the same intersection when “police say the driver took a 67-year-old man’s body off her car roof and left him in the street. She’s accused of manslaughter,” AP reports.
Perhaps this latest incident will prompt state and local officials to take a closer look at Springfield’s Main Street in general and the area around its intersection with 54th Street in particular. As an Oregon lawyer focusing on both injuries to children and traffic accidents I can say with assurance that these news agency accounts describe too many fatalities in a single, small area for there not to be a broader reconsideration of pedestrian safety measures.
AP via The Oregonian: 3 children die when pick-up strikes them while crossing street