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After a deadly week, Roanoke police have warnings for drivers, pedestrians

‘You’re not going to win the fight against a 4,000 pound, four-door sedan’

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke resident Timeca Reed knows just how dangerous Roanoke’s streets can be. She said she was hit by a drunk driver a few years ago on Williamson Road.

“My leg was stuck under the tire, so they had to cut my pants and rush me to the hospital. My leg blew up like a big balloon," said Reed.

While she made it out alive, this week, three other pedestrians did not.

Since Thursday, four crashes killed three pedestrians and a man driving a motorcycle. Two pedestrian crashes were hit-and-runs. Police are still searching for suspects.

A 55-year-old man was killed in the first hit-and-run Thursday evening at the intersection of Salem Turnpike and Calvary Road.

The second crash was on Williamson Road in front of Northwest ACE Hardware just after 9 p.m. on Friday. A woman was killed and a man sent to the hospital. The driver stayed on scene and is cooperating with police.

A man driving a motorcycle died around 12:30 a.m. on Monday after police said he lost control of the bike. Then an hour later, a woman was killed in a hit-and-run on Hershberger Road.

“It’s kind of scary," said Peggy Jewell, who lives near Williamson Road.

Jewell would like to see more crosswalks and street lights.

“Me and my husband both, when we’ve drove up down through there at night, we’ve had people that come across there and you literally have to sometimes slam on your brakes because you don’t see them," said Jewell.

Roanoke City Police Sergeant Trista Noel said drivers and pedestrians need to take responsibility for their own safety.

“It’s everybody watching out for everybody else," said Noel.

Drivers and pedestrians should avoid distractions: Put down their phones, don’t eat while driving and look out for people and cars around.

As for pedestrians, Noel said they should make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road so they know the drivers have seen them, wear light or reflective clothing, and use crosswalks.

Roanoke Police have warnings and advice for pedestrians and drivers after four people died in separate crashes in a week. (WSLS)

Even though pedestrians have the right-of-way by law in most cases, Noel said no one should assume that drivers have seen them or plan to stop.

“You’re not going to win the fight against a 4,000 pound, four-door sedan. It’s just scientifically impossible," said Noel.

Police also said that if you’re in a car that’s involved in a pedestrian crash, drivers and passengers in the car are required to report that to police.

Roanoke police are still looking for suspects in the Hershberger Road and Salem Turnpike hit-and-runs. Anyone with information should call police.

Roanoke City also launched a pedestrian safety survey and campaign this year.


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