As Hilliard Division of Police officers investigate the city's first fatal accident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle in seven years, they said the tragedy is a reminder for pedestrians to be observant – even in a crosswalk.
"Safety is a two-way street; it lies with pedestrians and motorists," said Andrea Litchfield, a spokeswoman for Hilliard police, after a man died July 18 from injuries sustained July 14 when he was crossing Main Street in a crosswalk and was struck by a vehicle.
"Pedestrians have a responsibility to be visible and alert. (Pedestrians should) never assume a driver is going to stop even when the pedestrian has the right of way. Motorists are responsible for following posted speed limits and being observant."
Lester Urlin Ferrell Jr., 27, of Minnesota Avenue in northeast Columbus, died four days after he was struck by a minivan at Main Street and Wakefield Drive, police said.
Ferrell was walking in a marked crosswalk from the east side of Main to the west side when the van traveling south on Main Street struck him at 4:35 p.m. July 14, according to police Chief Bobby Fisher.
Ferrell entered the crosswalk just north of Wakefield Drive, according the police report. The report also said a girl was walking with him but she was not struck or injured.
The driver was a 17-year-old Hilliard boy, according to police. Another vehicle traveling south stopped at the crosswalk at the accident but the 17-year-old failed to stop, police said.
According to the report, drugs or alcohol were not considered a factor in the crash, and as of Aug. 1, no charges had been filed.
The fatal accident was the first involving a pedestrian since a predawn accident July 14, 2010, when 35-year-old Carrie Campbell was struck and killed by a motorist while walking along Interstate 270 near the Cemetery Road exit.
On July 18, 2009, Upper Arlington resident Steven H. Barbour, 58, was struck while riding a bicycle just before 6 a.m. by an impaired driver near Cemetery Road and Municipal Way.
Barbour died four days later.
In April 2008, Diane Sharp, 41, a crossing guard at Scioto Darby Elementary School was killed when the driver of a dump truck failed to stop at a crosswalk and struck her.
An 8-year-old boy, whom witnesses said she protected, sustained serious injuries in the crash.
Litchfield said it is impossible to track near misses or accurately speak to the frequency of motorists disregarding pedestrians in crosswalks, but two of the most recent fatal accidents had extenuating circumstances: illegally walking on the freeway at night and an impaired driver.
A pedestrian struck in a crosswalk "is a rarity that Hilliard police don't often (encounter)," Litchfield said.