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Neighbors call for crosswalk at sixth deadly pedestrian crash

by Maggie Crane

KMOV.com

Posted on February 21, 2011 at 10:19 PM

(KMOV)-- St. Louis Metropolitan Police are studying surveillance video, hoping it will lead to the hit and run suspect who ran over a woman Sunday night.

The driver sped away, and the woman died from her injuries.  Now, police need your help.

It's the second fatal accident since January, which killed three pedestrians along the stretch North Grand between North Market and St. Louis Avenue.

We tracked down an alderwoman, who is vowing to make the intersection safer.

"This is just a death zone here," D'Marco Harris said about the intersection of North Grand at Montgomery.  "Man, there ain't no stop signs right here, and it's bad."

In this area of North St. Louis, the majority of people walk to get around.

"That's the neighborhood, and that's the food store," Brian Shelton said, pointing from one side of Grand to the other.

But there is no crosswalk to get there safely.  They make the dash -- a delicate dance that too often turns deadly.

"You run real fast, then here come (a car on ) that side, so you stand like this, and the car say 'woosh!'" Natasha Fultz said about trying to cross.

Police vowed to step up patrols after two people died last month, and the very next day officers handed out dozens of tickets and warnings to speeders.  But then, Sunday night Angela Coleman died while crossing North Grand. The 33-year-old mother of two fell then stumbled into the path of an oncoming car.

"It's just an eye opener for everybody," Fultz said.

Including Alderwoman Ford Griffin, who met us to see the problem first hand.  People who live nearby say cars speed the straight-away from North Market to St. Louis Avenue -- a three-block stretch without stop signs or lights to slow down drivers.

"You have a lot of street lights right here if you just look," 5th Ward Alderwoman April Ford Griffin said.  "But the thing is actually getting people to go to a corner to cross."

She says she'll use capital improvement funds to enhance lighting and that "there may be the possibility of getting the yellow flashing light that slows -- just a reminder to traffic to slow down," Ford Griffin said.

Neighbors argue that something is better than nothing.  We found a great example near the Fox Theatre -- a painted crosswalk with orange cones to alert drivers to slow down and pay attention to pedestrians.  It appeared to be working.

"And hopefully that will say something to the driver, but also to the people who are running across the street," Ford Griffin said.

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