There have been 12 pedestrian accidents to date this month, with the latest taking an 80-year-old woman’s life on Wednesday night.
The grim statistics have Abbotsford Police concerned.
The incident took place at about 5:45 p.m. at the intersection of James Street and South Fraser Way in front of city hall.
It is the fifth such fatality this year.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD), Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service and BC Ambulance personnel discovered that the woman had been struck by an SUV and was suffering from life-threatening injuries.
She was pronounced dead on the scene. The 68-year-old male driver of the SUV remained on the scene and has co-operated with police.
Const. Paul Walker said the SUV was in the left-hand eastbound lane at the time of the collision, and the woman was crossing the street diagonally from the south side of the street as she headed toward the crosswalk.
She was not in the crosswalk at the time of the collision, and she was wearing dark clothing, Walker said.
The intersection was closed for several hours while investigators were on the scene.
The APD is appealing to any witnesses who may have seen the accident to come forward.
Patrol officers and collision reconstructionists are continuing the investigation, and have ruled out alcohol or drugs as a factor in the incident.
Walker said it’s normal to see an increase in pedestrian-related collisions at this time of year, when weather worsens and daylight hours lessen.
He said drivers and pedestrians need to take responsibility for preventing such incidents.
“Often factors like speed, aggressive driving and weather conditions play a role, as do the decisions made by pedestrians to ensure they take the steps to be seen prior to stepping out into traffic,” Walker said.
Among the tips he suggests for pedestrians are: always make eye contact with drivers; never assume that a driver has seen you; watch for drivers turning left or right through a crosswalk; and wear reflective clothing and/or carry a flashlight.
Walker says drivers should: look twice for pedestrians crossing the road; focus on the road and leave electronic devices alone; and give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a pedestrian suddenly crosses the street.
Anyone with information about the latest collision should call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text 222973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
There have been 12 pedestrian-related accidents in Abbotsford since Nov. 1, including three involving cyclists (the APD classifies cyclists as pedestrians.) This compares to nine such incidents for the same period last year.
So far this year, there have been 102 reported incidents involving pedestrians/cyclists, compared to 85 for the same period last year.
The following pedestrian accidents have occurred this month:
* Nov. 3 – 32400 block South Fraser Way (cyclist on road);
* Nov. 5 – George Ferguson Way/Clearbrook Road (pedestrian in crosswalk);
* Nov. 6 – Gladwin Road/Maclure (in crosswalk);
* Nov. 7 – Gladwin/Hillcrest (in crosswalk) and Dolpin Crescent/Bakerview (not in crosswalk);
* Nov. 10 – Trethewey/Slocan (in crosswalk);
* Nov. 12 – 31200 block of Southern Drive (not in crosswalk) and Bevan/Ware (cyclist in crosswalk);
* Nov. 14 – 33700 block South Fraser Way (cyclist on road) and McMillan/Old Yale (in crosswalk);
* Nov. 16 – King/McCallum (in crosswalk); and
* Nov. 18 – James/South Fraser Way (not in crosswalk).
In addition to Wednesday’s fatality, five other people – including four pedestrians – have died in vehicle-related incidents so far this year (compared to five for the same period last year):
* Pedestrian Richard Rude, 67, on Jan. 24 was struck while using a crosswalk at McDougall and Montrose avenues. He died in hospital on Feb. 6.
* Cyclist Ronald James Scott, 61, died after being struck on Jan. 29 in the 2000 block of Mt. Lehman Road. The driver fled the scene and, although police have found the vehicle involved, they have not been able to confirm who was driving at the time.
* A passenger died after the vehicle she was in crashed and rolled over on March 10 in the area of Wells Line and Smith Line roads. Driver Brandon Mitchell James Hayes was charged and sentenced to two years in prison.
* Longboarder Dakota Leslie, 19, died after being struck on April 30 at the intersection of Marshall and McCallum roads.
* A 75-year-old male pedestrian was hit on Aug. 4 while crossing the road at Guilford Drive and Marshall. He died in hospital on Aug. 26.