Woman dead after auto-pedestrian crash in South Austin
Austin Police say one person is dead after an auto vs. pedestrian crash in south Austin.
It happened at the intersection of Manchaca Rd and Berkett Dr., near Cunningham Elementary School.
According to APD, the victim, identified as a 68-year-old black female, was crossing the road from the bus stop on Manchaca when a car hit her.
The driver stayed on the scene. No charges are expected to be filed.
Neighbors in the area say people crossing the street to get to a bus stop is very common. The nearest crosswalk to that bus stop is a couple blocks away.
“You mostly see kids, mostly women and disabled women crossing the street daily," Latonya Headeft said.
Headeft said she crosses the street every morning to get to the bus stop from her apartment complex. She knows it can be dangerous.
“I usually have to just wave and be like hey can somebody stop because I have kids," Headeft said.
While there is a pedestrian hybrid beacon to the north and a traffic light to the south, both are about a five minute walk away. That's why she said most people just cross right at the bus stop.
“I feel like we shouldn’t have to walk way down just to cross a street when they need to make one right here," Headeft said.
Others say they've been expecting someone to get killed at that intersection. “It was inevitable it was going to happen," Tim Kilpatrick with Eagle Transmission said.
Kilpatrick works nearby the crash scene. He said people drive too fast on Manchaca Rd. “When pedestrians cross the road here they’re taking the lives in their own hand," Kilpatrick said.
A business right next to the crash caught everything on surveillance video. They gave that video to police, and Kilpatrick said he talked with one person who watched it. They said the car that hit the woman was not speeding at the time.
“She was trying to catch the bus, darted out in traffic, stopped in the center, on the double yellow line, waited for traffic and darted out again," Kilpatrick said.
With pedestrian traffic and vehicle traffic intermingling, he said the city needs to install a crosswalk. “We need a center turn lane here, we need a pedestrian crosswalk. Something’s got to change, this is not going to stop," Kilpatrick said.
Headeft said the same thing. “I really like this seriously needs to be done because if one person got hit, many more can get hit. They really need to make a crosswalk here," Headeft said.
According to the city's web site, a pedestrian hybrid beacon has been requested for the intersection of Manchaca and Berkett. However, it's still under evaluation. Even if it doesn't get approved, though, it would be one of more than a hundred other locations waiting to get a crosswalk.