A Cloverdale woman is speaking out after witnessing a traumatic collision.
Michelle Katsumata was out walking her dog when she heard a loud “thump.” It was around 5 p.m. on Jan. 8 and she was near the intersection of 177B Street and Hwy 10.
“I was out walking with a friend and my dog,” she recalled. “We were coming up to the intersection and all of a sudden I saw a pedestrian get hit by a car.”
The collision happened when the car turned right onto No. 10 as the driver turned out from Clover Square Village.
Katsumata said she didn’t even know the pedestrian was walking just in front of her until she heard the noise of the impact.
“We didn’t see her walking at all. She was a young girl and dressed in all black,” said Katsumata. “It was dark out, it had been raining, the roads were wet, the traffic was busy. There is so much going on, how are drivers expected to see pedestrians dressed in all black?”
She said she wasn’t blaming pedestrians for getting hit, she just wants to raise awareness about how pedestrians can do more to be safer when walking and crossing roads at night and in bad weather.
“Wear light colours or put reflectors on your jacket, sweaters, backpacks, dog coats or leashes, strollers, or helmets (if they) are dark in colour,” she explained. “This was such a preventable accident. Fortunately, the girl was not seriously hurt.”
Katsumata said a short time later, after front-line emergency workers were on the scene, another girl, also dressed in black, was also nearly hit by another car.
“As we were standing there, it was the exact same thing,” said Katsumata. “Another girl almost got hit beside cops cars that were parked there with their flashing lights on. Again, she was in all black. Black jacket. Black hood. Black pants.”
She said pedestrians can and should do more to make themselves visible.
“Anything to make you be seen.”
She said the intersection at Clover Square Village is especially distracting.
“I find those three lanes, that are coming north out of Clover Square Village, to be very narrow,” she explained. “So drivers are watching to make sure they don’t hit the curb, they’re watching to make sure they’re not too close to the car next to them, and it’s busy there. Factor in the darkness and rain and you could have a big problem.”