The woman's body is removed from the scene. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune staff
By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
AN elderly woman became the country’s latest traffic fatality victim after being struck by a Mack Truck as she attempted to cross the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway shortly after 11am Sunday.
The accident, which impeded traffic flow in the area for much of Sunday afternoon, marked the 23rd traffic fatality of the year.
According to the officer-in-charge of the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s Traffic Division, Assistant Superintendent Craig Stubbs, the elderly woman was allowed to cross the street by a vehicle in the northern lane of west-bound thoroughfare, unbeknownst to the motorist crossing the southern lane.
Speaking to reporters on the scene Sunday, ASP Stubbs said the driver of that vehicle in the southern lane made contact with the pedestrian, fatally hitting her.
Investigators on the scene probed various angles of the immediate area, including the truck involved and an aerial view of the area using a drone device.
Kyle McIntosh, the truck driver who remained on the scene throughout the initial probe by authorities, told The Tribune that he was on his way to a nearby eatery to have lunch.
He said he had already started to slow down when two vehicles behind him took issue with his decreasing speed and overtook him.
Shortly afterwards, a shaken Mr McIntosh said, a pedestrian stepped out in front of his truck “out of nowhere.”
He added: “...And I just tipped her with the left side of the bumper.”
That impact, according to ASP Stubbs, propelled the deceased over into bushes just off to the southern-side of the dual-carriage highway.
Asked if speed played a factor in Sunday’s fatal accident, ASP Stubbs said preliminary findings did not support that theory.
He did, however, caution pedestrians to execute due care and attention when attempting to cross busy highways.
ASP Stubbs said pedestrians must make sure vehicles in both lanes of a dual-carriageway have come to a complete stop before attempting to cross.
“We have seen too many of these accidents where one vehicle would have stopped and a pedestrian just walked across and walked into oncoming traffic,” ASP Stubbs said.
He added: “So we encourage all pedestrians, when utilising these major thoroughfares, utilise the area that is (marked) for pedestrian crossing or wait until you find your way clear or vehicles stop to let you cross. Once you have ascertained that all vehicles have stopped, we say to you, proceed to the other side of that road.”
Last Wednesday, Transport and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell expressed concern over the number of accidents and fatalities recorded throughout the country this year.
Mr Campbell, during a press conference attended by various members of the Road Safety Committee, said it is “vital” that the government “continue to focus on road safety.”
Mr Campbell encouraged people to adhere to the various road traffic laws, such as using pedestrian crossings rather than crossing the road arbitrarily, obeying the maximum speed limits both in the city and highways, and avoiding texting while driving.
The latter, Mr Campbell said, is “far too prevalent” in Bahamian society and the possibility exists for the introduction of legislation against texting while driving sometime in the future.
At the time, Mr Campbell said the country had recorded 22 traffic fatalities for the year.
The investigation into Sunday’s accident continues.