An 81-year-old woman was struck and killed this afternoon while walking along a sidewalk near the intersection of Alvernon Road and Third Street, a popular bike route.

According to a Tucson Police Department press release, the woman, who hasn’t been identified because her family hasn’t been notified, was walking northbound on the Alvernon sidewalk when a driver exiting from a private driveway attempting to turn right and head south.

The driver was cited for failure to yield from a private drive, a civil traffic violation.

A Tucson Velo reader witnessed the crash and said the woman was pinned beneath the right front wheel.

It’s likely the driver was looking left (north) in an attempt to find a clearing to make the right turn and did not look to his right for pedestrians.

This behavior is common and is one of the reasons cyclists are urged to ride with traffic.

9 thoughts on “Pedestrian struck and killed at Third and Alvernon (updated)”
  1. We have got to be able to figure out how to do better than this. For the safety of all. Let’s all just slow down, take a second look, and drive , walk and ride more careful. If we all just do a little it will make a huge difference. I know this is preaching to the choir, so let’s go tell everyone we know.

  2. It was fatal. What was it, 19 pedestrian fatalities in 2011? We have a public-health problem in Tucson. 

  3. People don’t look for pedestrians or cyclist.  At every intersection almost every car that is turning doesn’t come to a stop behind the stop bar.  The next time the police get a grant for ped/cyclist safety they should use it actually making it safer for them by targeting vehicles that break laws such as failure to stop at stop bars and safe passing distances.  It is really a shame that this woman lost her life because someone was in such a hurry to pull out of a driveway.

  4. In my native Germany, where I got my drivers ed, we have a law that a motorist who hits a cyclist or a pedestrian is BY DEFAULT partially at fault for an accident, no matter what the ped or the cyclist did, even if it’s completely insane. While that may sound unfair to the motorists, it does have the effect that things like this simply don’t happen. 

  5. Targeting law breakers will only get us so far.  What really needs to be done is to sharpen driver education here.  After all, enforcement reaches far fewer people than education does.  I think a good first step would be to require extra training and testing re: vulnerable populations:  cyclists, pedestrians, and mobile disabled people.  Arizona needs to make drivers license renewal a more frequent event, perhaps every 2 or 4 years, and at those renewals tests should be required, both written tests and tests for visual acuity.  There are too many physical changes that happen in the long time that someone can have an Arizona license before needing to renew.  Sadly, emphasizing awareness of vulnerable populations during driver’s training means that we likely won’t see a huge change in driver behavior until the majority of drivers have had the revised training and or testing.  That’t not to say that enforcement won’t add anything. It’s just that enforcement will be the slowest and least effective way to achieve better awareness in the driving populace.  

  6. While such a law wouldn’t fly in the US, I think we could have something similar, be it much heavier penalties for drivers who injure or kill members of vulnerable populations or a less onerous burden of proof when prosecuting such people.  What is definitely not in our favor is the  roughly 100 year love affair (and addiction) that America has had with its cars.

  7. I wish drivers felt the same sickness, the same nausea that I feel when I see ghost bikes and when I hear about cyclists or pedestrians struck by cars.  There’s a ghost bike on way out on East Broadway near Houghton I believe.  It’s a child’s bike, and it makes me weak every time I ride by it.  I know I’m not alone.  My riding partner and his wife feel the same way.  If drivers felt some of that pain or disquietude, perhaps their behavior would change.

  8. Failure To Yield??????????  That’s Vehicular Manslaughter where I come from! What’s wrong with TPD?

  9. I think that’s unlikely.  The relevant laws can either found online or at the library.  It should be noted that unless you have the police report in hand and were a witness, you really don’t have enough information to say what should or shouldn’t have been charged.  I don’t know what witnesses said or what is in the police report, but I do know that police do have to follow some rules when citing drivers.  They can just cite them for whatever floats their boat.

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