Winchester officials make safety plea to public as pedestrian-involved accidents rise

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In the last three months, Winchester police officers and sheriff’s deputies have responded to eight pedestrian accidents, including one on Wednesday morning. 

Last month, an 83-year-old woman died as a result of one of these collisions. Twenty-three-year-old Kelsey Cadwell was indicted on vehicular manslaughter and driving on a suspended license on Tuesday for her role in the death. 

“I cross every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and we have had the experience of almost being hit. People are not yielding to pedestrians, who are obviously in a crosswalk,” said Marc Abrams, Winchester Commonwealth’s Attorney. 
 
“My executive admin was hit at Boscawen and Cameron when she was going to lunch from the courthouse,” said Sheriff Les Taylor, Winchester Sheriff’s Office. 
 
Officials said most of the accidents occurred while the driver was turning left onto a street that a pedestrian was crossing. 
 
Police said this happens so frequently because drivers are usually focused on yielding to traffic, not people. 
 
Sheriff Taylor recommends that pedestrians constantly look both ways while crossing and make eye contact with drivers who are turning. 
 
Most of these cases have resulted in charges.
 
“We’ve had about five charges, which are a lot in a three-month period,” Abrams said. 
 
Although both parties need to do their part, it’s Virginia law to yield for pedestrians, no matter the circumstances.
 
“It’s equal responsibility — the driver’s responsibility and the pedestrian’s responsibility — when they’re crossing the crosswalk and when drivers are approaching the crosswalk,” Taylor said. 
 
“You’re supposed to yield, whether the crosswalk is lit up or not lit up, or if it’s at an intersection or not,” Abrams said.
 
Winchester Police Department Public Information Officer (PIO) Jennifer Hall said Wednesday morning’s accident was caused by a driver hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk while turning left.
 
She added that the victim’s injuries were not serious. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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