Death of teen hit, killed in crosswalk could have been prevented, Taylorsville residents say

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TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The Taylorsville community continues to mourn the death of a 14-year-old girl hit and killed while crossing the street on Halloween.

Victoria Hillman was walking in the crosswalk on 2700 West 5930 South around 7 p.m. Saturday when the accident occurred.

Parents who live in the area say they have been warning their children for years about this particular part of the road.

“I feel strongly that if we don’t do something quickly it will happen again,” said Valerie Cleveland. “We watched this girl grow up and to have her gone this quick and it could have been prevented is very heart breaking.”

Cleveland said if Victoria’s death doesn’t bring this issue to the city’s attention she doesn’t know what will.

“At least 10 people I talked to the night of the accident that were here called and they haven’t gotten a response,” Cleveland said.

With Bennion Junior High just a few hundred feet up the road, this is a heavily traveled crosswalk when it comes to children and teens. Parents say after dark is the worst, due to inadequate lighting.

“It is pitch black right here, it’s just flat dangerous, we were crossing last night after the vigil and we almost got hit I couldn’t believe it we had to break out our cell phones and hold them up so people could see us crossing,” said Burk Cleveland.

Residents say the street lights that are in place are unreliable.

“The light here that they have comes on for a couple minutes at a time and then shuts off and it’s off for maybe a period of 10 to 15 minutes,” said Ben Deollos.

These folks say finding a logical solution shouldn’t be hard.

“Just kind of like you do at a busy intersection, you hit the little button, it takes 10 to 15 seconds, a series of lights starts flashing it signifies to the drivers, ‘hey somebody wants to cross for pedestrians,’” Deollos said. “It would be sad to see another tragic accident like what happened to Victoria.”

FOX 13 News reached out to the Taylorsville Mayor’s office. They released this statement:

“Public Safety is the City of Taylorsville’s number one priority. The City will continue to evaluate and review crosswalks citywide to address any immediate safety concerns.”

4 comments

  • Zary

    What about kids that are hit by cares in front of the schools all over the salt lake valley (my son being one of them) due to improper placement of crosswalks and school zone signs. Why have the school zone start and end just a few feet from the single cross walk?. Why not have the zone for the entire block that the school is on? How is that not even a possibility? And if cross walks are gonna be for public use in middle of roads (especially bust ones), why would you not have a lighted path or let alone lights to stop cats so people can cross safely?

    • Ron

      I sorry for what happened to your son, its infuriating to say the least, how these things happen. I agree, cross walks should get all the priority lighting and maintenance every year. However, a lot of this comes down to one factor that will always trump preparedness and safety……the “human” factor.

      Just this morning I was driving on 300 west between South Temple and North temple (On the East side of the LDS Business college), they have the best crosswalk there. Not only do they have lights across the top that flash very bright, but they also installed lights on the road its self outlining the cross walk. Anyways I had to honk because the car next to me did not yield for the pedestrian already in the crosswalk with all the lights flashing. Luckily she noticed and stopped before getting hit. If people would just focus on the road, not the phone or the radio or their makeup or anything else that is not their driving; accidents would diminish.

  • anotherbob

    What about personal responsibility? This was a 14year old who was hit right as she entered the crosswalk and not towards the end of the crosswalk. Had she been hit on the East side of the crosswalk one could argue that lighting and safety are an issue, however, since she was hit right as she entered the crosswalk it means she just simply wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings. You can add all the lighting/signs/flashing lights you want, but if a kid steps out in front of you right when you’re there at the crosswalk then what can you really do? Stop blaming the city and start increasing education on how to safely cross the road.

    • Mamma bear

      She was half way across the street when she was hit. The news story doesn’t do justice to the facts and specifics of the accident.
      When we left the vigil we had to drive past the cross walk on our way home. Two girls were trying to cross with flash lights and cell phones. I stopped (going northbound)ands watch 3 cars continue thrive the cross walk. I began to flash my lights to on coming traffic and 7 more cars of varying distances didn’t even touch their breaks! The girls couldn’t cross until there was no one coming that way. Lights will not save them all but it’s a start. Human error is bound to happen by way of driver or pedestrian. I can’t help but think of the project at 5400 south and Redwood, cosmetic upgrades to keep shoppers in Taylorsville…I’d rather the money be spent on lighting not only flashers but to light our city streets. Crime is always increasing in low lit areas. Petition time.

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