Pedestrian deaths up from last year; troopers bring awareness in the Upstate

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ANDERSON, SC (WSPA)–The South Carolina Highway Patrol said so far this year, there have been more than a 130 pedestrian deaths in the state, and it’s more than this time last year.

Whether it’s by car or on foot, everyday the roadways are filled with people, and in some cases they don’t always make it back home.

“The bigger the municipality, usually the more you can attribute to the number of pedestrians’ fatalities,” Trooper Joe Hovis said.

Trooper Hovis said this time last year, there were only 127 pedestrian deaths. This year, there have been 132. Hovis also said October is the month they typically see the highest number of pedestrian fatalities.

“As warm weather is hanging around and you got fall weather in the air, it just prompts people to be out and if you got more people out, then you’re going to have more pedestrians that are walking,” Hovis said.

Some residents said they’re not surprised.

“Especially with Halloween being right there and October, people walking up and down the road and cars going up, it’s pretty bad,” said Chris Cannon, an Anderson County resident.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Anderson is leading the way with the most deaths in the upstate. The Electric City has nine pedestrian deaths, Greenville and Spartanburg each have eight. Oconee and Pickens Counties each have one.

“Where I’m from, everybody just flies all up and down the roads and with kids going up and down it, it’s really dangerous, especially at night time when you’re not really paying attention,” Cannon said.

That’s why highway investigators said if you’re walking, it’s important to use crosswalks and sidewalks. And if there are none, walk as far from the edge of the roadway as you can–facing traffic. Wear bright clothing no matter what time of day it is, and try to wear a reflective vest.

They have a message for drivers too.

“Ofcourse, if you’re in a collision, don’t leave the scene. You’re only making things worst by leaving. And it’s a good possibly that you are not responsible for striking someone in the roadway. But if you leave the scene, now you’re looking at someone who has great bodily injury or death, you’re looking at jail time,” Hovis said.

Bottom line, just do whatever it takes to keep you and others safe and alive.

“I would just be aware. Watch out if you’re going to walk across the road, double check, triple check,” Cannon added.

Trooper said remember, when crossing roads, do not take any chances. From a hit and run standpoint, troopers said you are bound by law to remain at the scene until help arrives and also provide aid no matter what.

Trooper Hovis also said if you leave a scene, you can face big jail time. For great bodily injury you’re looking at up to 15 years and a $15,000. If someone dies and you leave, you could face 25 years and up to a $25,000 fine.

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