SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – The number of pedestrians hit and killed on our nation’s roadways has been on the rise.
7 News spoke with a Spartanburg family who wanted to raise awareness after they lost a loved one.
“My heart is torn. Every day, it’s over and over in my mind. I’m seeing him when he got hit. I never wanted to go through this in my life,” Betty Miller said.
Nearly a month after her son’s passing, Betty Miller’s home was filled with cards of condolences and her heart was full of hurt.
“I wanted him to bury me. Not to stand over and look at your child being run over. And I know his body went through a whole bunch of trauma. I never wanted to see that,” she said.
Miller’s son, Kelvin Tanner, was hit by a car while walking on Highway 295. He died from his injuries.
It’s something his family could not wrap their heads around.
“He’s been doing the same walk every day for two months,” Tanner’s sister Tara Jefferies said.
But Tanner’s family is not the only family affected by accidents like this one.
While the number of pedestrians hit in South Carolina has slightly decreased this year, the number has gone up across the nation, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
South Carolina Highway Patrol said the only way to help prevent more accidents like this from happening is for both drivers and pedestrians to devote all of their attention to the road.
“If anybody’s walking, please, please, just have enough respect to stop for them,” Jefferies said.
“Please be aware,” Miller added. “That’s somebody’s mother, somebody’s sister, somebody’s brother or somebody’s family member.”
Tanner’s family told 7 News they would like to see signs put up near where he was killed, warning drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians.
“We’re going to miss his heart of gold,” Jefferies said. “He had a laugh like no other.”
And Miller has a message for the driver who hit her son.
“I pray for him because I know that that’ll be something he’ll never forget for as long as he lives,” she said.
While speeding and distracted driving can sometimes be to blame, troopers wanted to remind pedestrians to always use crosswalks and sidewalks when they are available. If there are any, always face traffic while walking and wear something very visible, like a reflective vest or a strobe light, especially when walking at night.
Authorities will continue to investigate the crash that killed Tanner.