BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Boardman police are investigating a deadly accident where a man was hit by a vehicle while walking with traffic along South Avenue. Police say these types of accidents can be avoided because unfortunately, this isn’t the first of its kind.
Wednesday night’s fatal accident — where 29-year-old Jose Morales, of Youngstown, was killed — marks the third time this summer a pedestrian has been killed while walking along a roadway in Boardman.
“It’s very troubling to me. A lot of these things, I believe… can be avoided,” said Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer.
Other fatalities with pedestrians have also happened near the corner of Market Street and Route 224, and just south of St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital’s campus.
There have been nine other pedestrian accidents in Mahoning County this year where the victims survived. There were three dozen of them last year.
“They’re walking with the traffic, not against the traffic. They’re wearing dark clothes and, you know, it’s a recipe for disaster,” Pitzer said.
“Ideally, there’s a lot of tips for pedestrians walking in the road. The first would be don’t walk in the road if you don’t have to,” said Sgt. Patrick Abel, Ohio State Highway Patrol.
State troopers, who are investigating Wednesday night’s crash, say victims are often simply not paying attention to their surroundings.
“A lot of people, I think, assume that the cars see them and will go around them, and a lot of times that’s not the case,” Abel said.
Throw in the increasing use of cell phones and the combination can be lethal.
“You could either have a distracted driver, takes their eyes off the road for a split second, or a distracted pedestrian who steps into the path of a vehicle,” Abel said.
In either scenario, Pitzer says the results take a lasting toll on the victim, the driver and even the first responders who are called to the scene.