Clarksville dealing with increase in pedestrian accidents - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Clarksville dealing with increase in pedestrian accidents and fatalities

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On any given night, crossing a busy street on foot can be a gamble. The Clarksville area has seen a staggering number of accidents where pedestrians have been hit.

"It's too frequent, and too many people are dying," said Clarksville business owner and attorney Gary Hodges.

Since December, at least six people have been hit, four have died and others have been critically injured.

Hodges, who owns a burrito restaurant on Fort Campbell Boulevard, says he sees the risk people take crossing the road far too often. "Fort Campbell is very busy," he added.

Clarksville police say accidents have occurred all across the city. In December, a man was struck and killed by a tractor trailer on State Route 76. In January, a man was killed on Arrowood Drive near Fort Campbell Boulevard. This week, another pedestrian was struck and killed on Interstate 24, and Friday night a man was struck and sent to the hospital in critical condition.

A common link between many of the accidents, Clarksville police say, is poor visibility. Five out of the six most recent accidents occurred at night, and the pedestrians were wearing dark clothes, police say.

"Dark clothing was definitely a problem because people can't see you on the side of the road," said Clarksville resident Whitney Williams.  

The issue has gotten so bad it prompted Clarksville Councilman James Lewis to vow to put sidewalks and lighting along Arrowhead Drive, a stretch of road notorious for poor lighting. "I'm always looking out for people walking on the side of the road because I don't want to hit nobody," Williams said.

This week, Clarksville police issued a notice reminding pedestrians of the laws that were written to protect them. They also sent tips for pedestrians who walk at night. If you're walking on a street that may not have sidewalks or street lights, it is best to walk facing the oncoming traffic. They recommend crossing the street in well-lit areas, preferably an intersection and within a crosswalk. Also, at night, wear reflective materials and carry a flashlight.

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