Elderly pedestrian struck on Highway 33

Police advising motorists and pedestrians to watch out for one another in dark winter driving conditions.

  • Jan. 12, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Police had to respond Monday afternoon to what they call “another entirely preventable collision involving a pedestrian.”

The accident occurred at about 4 p.m. in the 300-block of Highway 33 East in Rutland.

The driver of a black Honda Civic claimed that she simply did not see the elderly woman in the crosswalk when she struck her with the front left corner of her vehicle.

Police have determined that the pedestrian was in a marked crosswalk at the time of the collision, crossing the highway from the north side of Highway 33 towards the Plaza 33 shopping centre.

A witness told police at the scene that the crosswalk sign was illuminated for the pedestrian and that the traffic light was green at the time.

The driver, a 19-year-old Kelowna woman, remained at the scene and co-operated with the police investigation.

The pedestrian, an 86-year-old Kelowna woman, was transported to hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police have since learned that she was later released from the hospital suffering from a fractured wrist, and is expected to make a full recovery.

“The Kelowna RCMP has noticed an apparent increase in pedestrian involved collisions these past few months,” said Kelowna RCMP  Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Collisions which police strongly believe were entirely preventable.

“Police would like to urge pedestrians to be cognizant of their surroundings, always cross at designated crosswalks, wear reflective clothing to make it easier for drivers to see you in poor weather and low lighting conditions, ensure you have made eye contact with drivers, don’t assume they have seen you, and remove any distractions such as head phones.

“Police would also like to urge drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times, of course leave your phone alone, be ready to yield to and look twice for pedestrians particularly when visibility is poor, and allow yourself extra time to react in case a pedestrian suddenly decides to cross the road in front of you.”

Police have charged the driver in this case under the BC Motor Vehicle Act for failing to yield to a pedestrian on a green light.

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