Deadly intersection full of dangerous distractions, say pedestri - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Deadly intersection full of dangerous distractions, say pedestrians

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Pedestrians cross Second at Main Street, where a 24-year-old Humana employee was struck by a concrete truck and killed on June 12. (Source: WAVE 3 News/Michael Williams) Pedestrians cross Second at Main Street, where a 24-year-old Humana employee was struck by a concrete truck and killed on June 12. (Source: WAVE 3 News/Michael Williams)
Flowers were left at the corner where the deadly incident happened. Flowers were left at the corner where the deadly incident happened.
Ryann Tewell (Source: Tony Bennett/The Voice-Tribune) Ryann Tewell (Source: Tony Bennett/The Voice-Tribune)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many people who live and work downtown say they dread crossing Main at Second Street where 16,000 motor vehicles crossing the Clark Memorial Bridge meet the 8,300 vehicles traversing downtown each day.

Daven Belt is blunt: "We don't feel safe crossing."

"You can't be seen," Belt's friend LeAndrea Johns added. "You've got people like me who take their chances and feel like, 'Oh, I can make it.' Bam! It happens!"

"I personally have had cars that has been turning onto the bridge, that have been so close to me I could feel the air off of their cars," said Charlene Dale, a southern Indiana resident who works for Humana.

Their words came one day after Dale's co-worker, 24-year-old Ryann Tewell, was struck and killed when a concrete truck turned right from Main Street onto the bridge while she was in the crosswalk.

"[The driver] had no idea he'd hit her until witnesses told him to stop," said Public Information Officer Dwight Mitchell of the Louisville Metro Police Department.

LMPD's reconstruction team hasn't completed its investigation, Mitchell said, but the driver has not been cited, and investigators believe both he and Tewell had traffic signals in their favor.

Metro Public Works has confirmed that the signals were functioning, spokesman Harold Adams said on Friday.

Dale and Belt are saddened, but not surprised.

"It's a very short time span to get across from one corner to the other," Dale said.

"If you're coming from [one] angle, you can't really see," Belt said. "It's like a blind spot, I feel like."

The Clark Bridge feeds into Second Street, also known as Highway 31, which is the responsibility of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. But Metro Public Works designed and installed the last signal changes, when construction of the KFC Yum! Center began five years ago.

Public Works will launch a transportation audit once the police investigation is complete, Adams said, but downtown dwellers already have suggestions to make the area safer.

"We need a crosswalk," said Dale. 

"Make [an overhead walkway] like they have connecting the hotels," said Johns.

"We're open to a number of ideas," Clifford said, "but the final approval has to rest with the Transportation Cabinet."

A timetable is unclear, but Dale and her coworkers have altered their own traffic patterns for lunch.

"I've always hated this intersection," Dale said, "but now, I'll probably cross on [the other] side of the street."

The police investigation could be finished next week. The safety audit, depending on the factors Public Works considers, could take months to complete.       

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