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Auto-Pedestrian Accident Critically Injures Teen

The past several weeks have been some of the most dangerous for Las Vegas-area pedestrians in recent memory. Something as routine as crossing the street shouldn’t be this hazardous or deadly. Sadly, another auto-pedestrian accident occurred over the holiday weekend – and this one highlights how we can all help protect the safety of pedestrians.

In a rural area of Las Vegas Friday night, a 16-year old girl was critically injured when she was struck by a car while trying to cross the street shortly before 7:30pm. The incident occurred near the intersection of Lone Mountain Road and El Capitan Way, which is about a half mile west of Mountain Crest Park. The girl was rushed to University Medical Center, where she underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.

Here are some details about this auto-pedestrian accident which are worth noting.

The girl was wearing dark clothing. It’s always a good idea to wear light colored clothing when walking at night. But if you aren’t, you need to be aware that other drivers may not see you if you cross the street in front of them.

  • The teen did not cross exactly at the intersection. Drivers are more likely to exercise caution when they approach an intersection. This is why it is best to cross a street where two roads intersect.
  • There was no marked crosswalk at the intersection. Metro Police say that there was an "implied crosswalk" at the intersection because it had four corners. But you have to wonder: would a marked crosswalk have altered the teen’s decision to cross the street where she did?
  • The intersection was described as "extremely dark" by police. Even though the area is rural, perhaps the city should consider putting up a streetlight or two at the intersection. Better lighting could perhaps have saved the girl from a trip to the hospital.
  • The intersection was close to a park. Drivers should be aware of all of their surroundings. This includes watching for children if you are driving in the vicinity of a park where kids might be present.

It is quite possible that the driver could be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the teen’s parents. Even so, this tragedy illustrates how protecting pedestrians is really a community-wide effort.