A 17-year-old boy was recently killed in a pedestrian accident in Santa Rosa County. The accident occurred just before 10 p.m. on the last Saturday in January. The vehicle involved (a Jeep Grand Cherokee) fled the scene in a hit-and-run, leaving the victim alone.
The fleeing driver, whom police now know was a 36-year-old Milton man, ditched his SUV on the shoulder of the road, east of the accident. The following day, he called the police and turned himself in as the driver involved in the fatal hit and run. He now faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
Because of the driver’s original decision to leave the scene and evade law enforcement, it is unknown whether he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Students at Milton High School spent much of their Monday grieving the loss of their classmate. Students gathered around a flag pole before classes began to honor the victim, a JROTC student.
Pedestrian accidents are all too common in Pensacola and across the U.S.
When motor vehicle accidents involve pedestrians, the results can be especially devastating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 4,378 pedestrians were killed in 2008. Since pedestrians have no protection in a collision, they are especially vulnerable to serious injury or death.
The NHTSA reports that a pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle accident every eight minutes in the U.S. Someone dies as the result of a pedestrian accident every two hours. Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas like Pensacola, and 70 percent of the time they occur at night, as in the case of the Milton tragedy.
Drivers, please keep an eye out for pedestrians — especially at night — and make sure you slow down and give them plenty of room as you pass. Pedestrians, take special care when you are walking near roadways.
- Pensacola News Journal, “Milton man arrested in teen’s hit-and-run death,” January 31, 2011
- NHTSA, “Traffic Safety Facts; 2008 Data; Pedestrians”