A woman from O’Fallon, Illinois was killed Saturday when she and her husband were struck while attempted to cross at a crosswalk near Hilgard Street on Highway 50. They were going to their car after watching their grandchild participate in a sporting event at O’Fallon Community Park. The accident happened about 10 a.m. Saturday morning and the woman was pronounced dead early Sunday from the injuries received. Her husband remains in the hospital in serious condition.
Residents that witnessed the accident describe the intersection as being unsafe despite the crosswalk. There are two crosswalks near the park, one at Hilgard street and one in the middle of the block. Highway 50 is three lanes in this area with traffic moving steadily through the area with no stop signs or stoplights to slow traffic as park users cross to parking on the other side of the highway. One resident was hoping that the city of OFallon would explore how to make the crossings safer. Hopefully this tragedy will force that issue.
There was no indication that the driver was driving under the influence, speeding or using a hand held mobile device according to the Police in their initial investigation. The investigation is ongoing but no charges are expected to be filed at this point.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in the Unites States result from motor vehicle crashes. Pedestrians represent thirteen percent of all motor vehicle traffic-related deaths. Statistically this amounts to roughly 4500 deaths per year. Sadly, this local death appears to have been tragically preventable given the known dangers and the absence of stop signs through this publicly used area.