Pedestrian fatality raising concerns over an area of Rock Road

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A day after a woman in an electric wheelchair was hit by an SUV and killed, some are now saying the area isn’t pedestrian-friendly.

Fifty-five-year-old Tracey Crawford passed away after being hit by a vehicle while crossing the road in her electric scooter.

The accident happened on Rock Road south of Harry. Crawford lived in assisted living nearby.

A friend of Tracey Crawford, who did not want to be identified, said the two loved to go to the Village Inn together. She said that there are no safe places on Rock Road to cross the street from Harry to Pawnee.

“That was a dear friend of mine that didn’t deserve to die like that,” Crawford’s friend said.

Wichita Police Captain Brent Allred said too many people are dying in Wichita.

“We have to pay attention to what is happening when, in a vehicle, 42 citizens have died in Wichita this year on our streets from driving accidents, and that is far, far too many,” Captain Allred said.

Wednesday’s accident marked the 11th pedestrian death this year. One business owner said Rock Road is too dangerous to cross.

“I know we talk to a lot of them. They come in on their little scooters and wheelchairs, and they walk over. Some of them on their walkers, and a lot of them will tell us they don’t like crossing at the crosswalk because there is so many wrecks at the intersection at Pawnee and Rock Road,” John Rohlan, a business owner in the area, said.

The distance between the Harry and Pawnee intersections on Rock Road is three-quarters of a mile long.

“That area at Rock and Funston, it was quite a distance to Harry north of there and Pawnee south of there for that individual to go in that electric wheelchair, to get down to an area where there are actually traffic signals,” Captain Allred said.

“I’ve for quite a while thought it would be really helpful if there was a crosswalk there. Another thing that we hear from them is that there is no bus or public transportation here, so they have no choice but to walk,” Rohlan said.

Becky Tuttle, the city council member for the area, said she is looking into what can be done to make the stretch of road safer for pedestrians to cross the street.

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