Pedestrian hit by car in Macon last month dies; teen spared in Riverside accident

Macon teen spared in Riverside accident

lfabian@macon.comApril 9, 2014 

A homeless man died 12 days after getting hit by a car on Spring Street near Riverside Drive.

Timothy Walker, 43, of Gordon, was pronounced dead at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said.

“He died of a closed head injury,” Jones said. “He never regained consciousness.”

Walker is the third pedestrian to die on Macon-Bibb County streets this year after nine people were hit and killed in 2013. Last year was one of the deadliest on Bibb’s roads in recent memory with a total of 32 traffic accident deaths.

Tuesday night after a 15-year-old was hit on Riverside Drive, Bibb County sheriff’s deputies stressed pedestrian safety.

The teen, Sherod Brooks, stepped in front of a westbound Mercedes SUV driven by a 43-year-old Macon woman, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Brooks was hurt near the same intersection where passers-by frantically performed CPR to revive Walker last month.

The teen was not seriously hurt Tuesday, and his sister expected him to be released from the hospital Wednesday.

“The doctors are saying he should have been dead, the way he was hit,” said his sister, Shakeyra Brooks. “He’s doing really well. No bone fractures or anything. Everything is good.”

Brooks and Walker were not in crosswalks, and deputies urge pedestrians to cross in those designated areas when possible. They also said pedestrians should always check traffic before crossing.

Just one of last year’s pedestrian victims was in the crosswalk.

This year, at least nine people have been hit walking or riding a bicycle on Macon streets.

According to initial reports, just one of them was in the crosswalk.

A 10-year-old boy on his way to school was walking with a crossing guard when he was grazed by a pickup on Edna Place at Greenbriar Road on Feb. 3.

On Jan. 21 at 7 a.m., 50-year-old Tony Bateman suffered fatal injuries when he rode a bicycle into the path of a transit authority bus near Concord Street.

Stephen Fuller, 33, was hit by two vehicles and killed while crossing Hawkinsville Road near Barnes Ferry Road about 8:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

On Feb. 8, Willie Cartilage, 48, was hurt when struck by a vehicle while walking across Gray Highway from Graham Road about 6:40 p.m.

Four pedestrians were hit in three accidents on March 1.

Two of the incidents happened on Pio Nono Avenue about 40 minutes apart.

At 7:20 p.m. that Saturday night, Roderick McGee, 46, was struck in a hit and run accident as he walked across the 2000 block of Pio Nono.

At 8 p.m., Aron Fox, 26, and her husband, Collin Fox, 35, were hit crossing to Gold Cup Bowling Center in the 3000 block of Pio Nono.

At 8:30 p.m., another hit-and-run accident injured 18-year-old Casson Hall Jr. as he crossed the 3400 block of Napier Avenue.

Late last month, 42-year-old Chris Icenhower was critically injured crossing Eisenhower Parkway near Raley Road.

He remains in critical condition on a ventilator, the coroner said.

In addition to people being more cautious, some advocates are calling for road design changes to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

In an email response to a Monday blog post about the rising number of pedestrian deaths in Georgia, Jim Thomas, Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission’s executive director, agreed the problem needs attention.

“Pedestrians should not have to walk in the gutter or on unimproved shoulders and cross major roads at random,” Thomas said in the emailed statement. “The ultimate goal is to identify problems, prioritize them, and then press for funding to address the real safety issues.”

P&Z already is evaluating pedestrian access along transit authority routes, and the community’s Transportation Improvement Plan includes safety improvements and sidewalks, Thomas said.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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