Dark streets can create problems for drivers and pedestrians - KPTV - FOX 12

Dark streets can create problems for drivers and pedestrians

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) - There have been several accidents in the last two weeks that have similarities.

They all involved pedestrians getting hit by cars and police said it's because they were difficult to spot.

In two of those crashes, the victims did not survive.

The most recent accident happened Thursday just after 5:30 a.m. at the corner of Center Street and 18th Northeast.

Salem Police said David McGregor was crossing at the corner when he was hit and killed by a full size van.

“I heard the hit that's all I could tell you. I didn't see it but I heard it,” said Ray Hale, who lives down the street from the crash site and shared a home with McGregor.

People who knew McGregor said he would take walks in the morning and in the afternoon.

It was on that Thursday morning that police said McGregor was dressed in dark clothing as he crossed at an unmarked crosswalk.

The driver of the van told police he didn't see McGregor in the middle of the street.

“I know he was very easy and very gentle to get along with. He was always in a good mood,” said Hale.

Just last week, a couple walking on the sidewalk along Market Street, was hit after a pickup turned into a driveway.

Mike Crossland and his wife Chris were taken to the hospital but they later died from their injuries.

“They walked all the time. They tried to walk 5 - 7 miles everyday, but they were always careful and would stay on sidewalks, so that they wouldn't put themselves in jeopardy,” said Rob Bibler, who lived next door to the couple for the last 30 years.

Bibler said they enjoyed their walks around town and had become a fixture in the community.

“Because they walked so much, everyone was used to seeing them and they were a distinctive presences in the neighborhood and now their absences is felt in so many ways,” said Bibler.

Police suggest if you're walking at night make sure drivers can see you.

They suggest you be visible and be vigilant.

If you're crossing the street; use a crosswalk or cross at an intersection and make eye contact with the driver.

Police also suggest you wear bright or reflective clothing, and carry a flash light to improve your chances of being seen.

“That's one thing I could never understand in this town is why people would wear dark clothes on these dark streets,” said Hale.

Dark streets and poor visibility are problems in every city.

On Wednesday a student was hit while crossing in a crosswalk near Centennial High School, in Gresham.

Police said the student was wearing dark clothing and the driver didn't see him.

That student suffered injuries to his arms and legs but was expected to survive.

In each of the cases, police haven't cited any of the drivers but they are continuing to investigate each one to determine if any of the drivers will face charges.

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