Pedestrian deaths prompt public safety reminders ahead of Halloween

Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 18:14:44-04

"She was a beautiful person and she was a smart girl and she won't ever get to realize that."

Corinne Mauricio is talking about her niece NaTasha. The 7-year-old was hit and killed by a van while she was walking home from school last week. 

The week before, 16-year-old Kyle Lynam was hit and killed by a truck in Harford County while trying to catch his school bus. 

"He was just the person that if you were sad, he would always make sure you would have a smile on your face by the end of the day," Kyle's friend Kiersten Zinkhan said. 

At least 11 pedestrians have been hit and killed by cars so far in October. The latest happened Monday evening in Cecil County; the second deadly pedestrian crash in the county in 10 days. 

MORE: Woman killed crossing Elkton Road in Cecil County

In addition, 4 people were struck and killed in Baltimore County, 1 in Anne Arundel, 2 in Prince Georges, 1 in Harford and 1 in Montgomery County. 

"A person was struck and killed in a possible DUI case, where he was changing his tire. We've had people crossing the roads not in an intersection at night," Maryland State Police spokesman Ron Snyder said. 

Looking at data compiled by the Maryland Department of Transportation over 5 years, 11 is the average number of pedestrians killed in October, but it's one of the deadliest months for pedestrians out on the roads; second only to December at 12, compared to June at 5. 

While the total number of crashes involving pedestrians is going up, the number of people killed in Maryland has stayed consistent.

"Between 2013 and 2017, we've averaged about 111 pedestrian fatal crashes a year. One fatality is too many," Snyder said.

With a death in October, Montgomery County surpassed its 2017 total of 11 pedestrian deaths. 

The majority of the deadly crashes are happening at around 8 or 9 p.m. and the pedestrian is on the road, not in a crosswalk. As MSP investigates, they want to remind people to stay vigilant ahead of Halloween.

"Especially at night, watch out for pedestrians. You have people out there trick or treating. It's fall. People are out there, maybe walking or jogging or walking or biking when it's darker earlier," Snyder said. 

Snyder says pedestrians should try to stay visible after dark and use crosswalks and sidewalks. 

"If there are no sidewalks, make sure you're walking on the side of the street facing traffic," Snyder said. "Pedestrians need to take care. Motorists need to take care and hopefully we're able to save lives on Maryland roads."

He recommends staying near streetlights and wearing reflective material.