BETHESDA, Md. - It is one of those moments if you are not paying attention, everything can change in an instant. A pedestrian was struck by a car and the collision was captured on video.
The accident happened on River Road in Bethesda Tuesday afternoon as the pedestrian was walking in the crosswalk. In the video, you can see a pickup truck in the left lane completely stopped before the crosswalk as the person crosses the road. But a vehicle driving in the lane to the right drives through the crosswalk with no idea there was a person crossing and slammed right into the pedestrian.
The pedestrian was able to get up and hobbled to the side of the road and was later taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver in this crash did stay on the scene and was charged in this accident.
“It's always going to happen at a multi-lane road that if one person stops, the next motorist that is approaching is not going to be able to see the pedestrian until they are pretty close,” said Mike Farrell, director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Street Smart Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program. “So if you see a motor vehicle stopped in front of a crosswalk, you should just assume that there is a pedestrian behind that vehicle.”
However, if you do watch the video, it appears that the pedestrian doesn't stop to look to see if a car is coming either. Police are hoping this will serve as a lesson to both drivers and pedestrians.
Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks said no matter what you are doing on the road, it is your responsibility to take action to protect yourself in addition to following the law.
Pedestrian crashes have been a problem on Montgomery County roads, particularly on River Road. In October of last year, a 95-year-old woman was in a marked crosswalk when she was struck and killed on River Road.
Back in February, a driver going 115 miles per hour crashed into another car with four people inside the vehicle on this same road. A teenage girl survived the crash, but both her parents and brother were killed in the wreck.
Many say the speeding is common along River Road. There are a lot of posts on a local listserv about this problem. One woman wrote:
"This morning I was nearly hit by a driver who decided to go into the shoulder to go around the cars that stopped for me. Speeding on River contributes to this.”
Someone else responded:
“Speaking of River Road traffic. Accident at the corner of River and Whittier just a few minutes ago.”