On Tuesday, January 27, 2016, a pedestrian was struck and killed on South Cobb Drive as he was crossing the street early in the morning. The man was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by emergency personnel.
According to police, Reginald Cumming, 75, was attempting to cross South Cobb Drive near Waithall Avenue around 7 AM. He was struck by a 2004 GMC Sierra that was heading north. While he lay in the road, he was struck again by a white sedan, which witnesses described as a newer model. Although the GMC Sierra stopped at the scene, the white sedan did not. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Cobb Police Selective Traffic Enforcement Program Unit at 770-499-3987.
Cobb County Pedestrian Accidents
According to the George Department of Highway Safety, there were 12 pedestrian accidents in 2013, up from ten the year before. Over the past five years, 50 pedestrians have been killed in Cobb County. Throughout the state, numbers of pedestrians killed by vehicles has been slowly rising, leading officials to review better safety measures. The state of Georgia has the ninth highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in the country, averaging 1.73 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. This is significantly higher than the national average of 1.38 per 100,000.
Reasons for Increase
There are several reasons leading to the increase in pedestrian accidents in Georgia. More people are now walking for exercise and to save money when gas prices are higher. In areas where vehicle traffic is heavy, including Marietta, are finding it challenging to keep pedestrians safe. In some areas, crosswalks are too far apart so pedestrians choose to cross busy highways in the center of a block. In Cobb County, sidewalks are being added in an effort to improve pedestrian safety. The county also installed a HAWK signal on Six Flags Drive that seemed to reduce pedestrian injuries.
Hit and Run Penalties
In the recent accident, one of the drivers who struck Cumming may be charged with hit and run. In Georgia, a driver who does not stop or return to the scene of an accident. If the driver of the white sedan is convicted, they may face fines of between $300 and $1,000. They may also be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail for leaving the scene of the accident. Because Cumming died of his injuries, if it is determined the second car caused the injuries that ultimately killed him, they may face a felony charge that could lead to imprisonment of one to five years.
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