Senior is struck while walking in crosswalk

CENTRAL GLENDALE — A 66-year-old Glendale woman was struck Friday by a 77-year-old motorist as she walked on a marked crosswalk at Glendale and Harvard avenues, police said.

The motorist stopped for a red light south on Glendale Avenue just before noon and looked to his left as he was turning his mid-sized Cadillac right onto Harvard Avenue, Glendale Police Sgt. Peter Pressnall said.

But the woman pressed the crosswalk button, proceeded into the walkway and was struck by the motorist, who reportedly continued to look left when he turned, he said.

The motorist said that “he suddenly heard a thump on his car and saw the woman on the ground,” Officer Marc Tarzia said.

She had no visible signs of injuries, but complained of pain and was taken to a local hospital, he said.

The driver was not arrested in connection with the incident, Pressnall said, but he is reportedly at fault for failing to yield the right-of-way to her.

The incident could have been avoided if the woman and the driver had been paying attention to their surroundings, Pressnall said.

A driver and pedestrian should exchange contact before either of them initiate movement, he said.

The last accident in the city that involved a pedestrian was March 28, when a woman who was boarding a public bus fell off, but the bus driver rode off without stopping or helping her, he said.

Nearly a month before that accident, a 4-year-old boy was struck and injured by a motorist Feb. 27 as he ran in between cars toward his family on West Doran Street.

The boy was headed to preschool at Columbus Elementary School.

Police officials have been conducting pedestrian sting operations and speed enforcement, looking for motorists who failed to comply with the rules of the road.

The city also has been trying to make pedestrian safety a top priority, said Wendy Alfsen, executive director of California Walks, an organization that looks at pedestrian issues.

Alfsen will be heading up a training program May 18 for residents who were selected to get information on how to set up safety priorities.

Friday’s incident, Alfsen said, is a common pedestrian-related collision.

“It’s so common that there is a lot of discussion over whether there should be no right turn on pedestrian walkways,” she said.

She often advises pedestrians to look far to the left when they are going to enter a crosswalk.


 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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