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Tuesday night’s accident prompts safety tips for drivers and pedestrians

Police say people should stick to the crosswalks when possible and look both ways, as well as try to wear bright clothing if walking at night. They also have advice for drivers.
Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, police were called to a vehicle versus person accident on West Omaha...
Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, police were called to a vehicle versus person accident on West Omaha Street. The 37-year-old female, Terri Leading Fighter, was declared dead on the scene after attempting to jaywalk.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 5:33 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, police were called to a vehicle versus person accident on West Omaha Street. The 37-year-old female, Terri Leading Fighter, was declared dead on the scene after attempting to jaywalk.

Police say they look at many factors while investigating this sort of accident.

“When a pedestrian is crossing the street, we look at were they crossing the street legally, were they in a crosswalk, were they walking with the light, against the light, all those factors,” said Brian Blenner, a field services lieutenant for Rapid City Police Department. “In this particular incident, this person did not utilize a crosswalk. They walked into a busy, four-lane road, it was dark out and they were wearing dark clothing.”

Blenner said over the years there have been several fatal accidents like this one and on this road specifically.

“Pedestrians are crossing not at a crosswalk when they’re crossing, it’s in diminished light so the drivers aren’t able to see that pedestrian and that pedestrian has dark clothing on generally too,” said Blenner. “And that’s the factors involved, the drivers just can’t see them and they’re traveling 35, 40 miles an hour. Their reaction time just isn’t there.”

Police say people should stick to the crosswalks when possible and look both ways, as well as try to wear bright clothing if walking at night. They also have advice for drivers.

“You want to be doing the speed limit, you don’t want to try to be going over or anything like that and just be responsible, just make sure that you’re looking all the time because you never know what may pop out in front of you,” said Blenner. “This time of year, deer are often crossing the road as well and we need to be extra precautious of that. We just need to be aware of our surroundings.”

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