UDOT pushes education of Zero Fatalities after 2 fatal auto-pedestrian crashes

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Auto-pedestrian accidents continue to be a concern for transportation officials after two people were killed in Layton Monday morning.

There have been seven fatal car crashes 12 days into the New Year. Two of those accidents involved a pedestrian.

“You want to turn back the hands of the clock,” said UDOT Spokesman John Gleason.  “You want to go back in time and stop this kind of thing from happening.”

On Monday, 42-year-old Adam Brinhall was crossing the street in his wheelchair near 2080 N. Main Street when he was hit and killed by a car.

Later that morning, Layton High School students BaiLee DiBernardo and friend Eric Baarz were also struck while walking in a crosswalk.

BaiLee died and Eric is in serious condition.

“It is heartbreaking,” Gleason said.  “It's tragic; the lives that have been changed forever.”

UDOT officials say visibility can be low at this time of year.

“There are fewer daylight hours in the winter months and it’s harder to see especially when kids are walking to school. When people are driving home at night, we all need to be aware and pay attention to each other,” Gleason said.

UDOT released statistics on fatal crashes for the first two weeks of 2015 and 2014.

The numbers indicate there was a slight increase in auto pedestrian accidents from last year to this year.

In 2015, there were four fatal crashes. One involved a pedestrian.

In 2014, there were six fatal crashes and two involved pedestrians.

UDOT officials remind motorists pedestrians are no match against a 4,000-pound car.

“Education and talking about safety, that's important too, but at the end of the day it is just talking,” Gleason said.  “We need everyone to really buy into Zero Fatalities and make that commitment to yourselves and your family to put safety first.”

The Zero Fatalities campaign talks about distracted driving as well as distracted walking.

Distract walking includes talking or texting while walking.

Officials remind motorists and pedestrians to stay alert whether it’s in a parking lot or crossing a street.

4 comments

  • Kay

    42 year old was not in the crosswalk. He was in the middle of a very dark road and wheeled right in front of driver. Please check your facts before misinforming the community.

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  • Travis

    The man in the wheelchair was not in a crosswalk. The accident happened right next to the star cafe. I have lived by there for many years. As for the accident by Layton high, charge them with some form of crime for killing that girl, and leaving one in critical condition. That will help people follow the rules of the road.

  • Rick

    Does anybody remember when pedestrians were taught to stop, look both ways before crossing the street IN THE CROSSWALK and making eye contact with the driver before stepping out? Low light conditions make it hard enough to see people. Having them step out unexpectedly makes it worse still.
    I’m not saying that the pedestrians in any of these events were to blame – I wasn’t there and didn’t witness the accidents – but I often see pedestrians who act as if they’re entitled to cross where / when they please. …and ‘yes’ I also often see drivers violate the pedestrian’s right of way as well.

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