WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The number of deadly pedestrian accidents continues to grow in our area.
Days before Christmas another deadly pedestrian accident here in western Massachusetts, claiming the life of a 25 year-old woman and her dog. Both were struck and killed Tuesday night in the area of Piper Road and Monastery Avenue in West Springfield.
Wednesday night 22News spoke with residents in this area who are concerned that this can happen again unless something changes.
“It’s so sad. And senseless, and it’s on the town’s shoulders now. They got to figure out what to do with this loss of this human being,” Shawna McDaniel from West Springfield told 22News.
“I knew where it was because it is such a deadly intersection and I’ve voiced my concerns with the town several times,” McDaniel said.
Following that accident, the City of West Springfield put out cones and yield signs at the intersection of piper road and monastery avenue, but some nearby residents 22News spoke with say that this is not enough to slow down cars. McDaniel lives a street away from where the incident happened. She says that the area is too dark and cars drive too fast.
“It’s so dangerous when I use to walk my dog, I couldn’t take him to that crosswalk. I couldn’t guarantee that he could get to the other side fast enough before the next speeding car,” McDaniel explained.
“The plan that we have is to move the crosswalk a little bit away from the intersection on the other side. Make it more of a mid-block crosswalk, and have a raised speed bump. with the rapid flashers to make the road narrower to slow people down and make it visible so you can see it,” West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt said.
In the meantime nearby residents taking extra precautions while walking in that area. But also asking drivers to pay attention.
“Please slow down. There’s a school. There are kids. There are dogs. Please slow down,” said Mercedes Boutiette from West Springfield.
Mayor Reichelt also told 22News that a light will be installed to brighten that area as well.
Also as of a note 22News observed police detail in the area earlier Wednesday evening.
This is just one of many pedestrian accidents that happen every year in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reports just under 1,700 pedestrian crashes so far this year.
According to the State, since 2017, there has been an average of 70 pedestrian fatalities each year. Last year that number was 76. More than half of these accidents happen between the months of March and December, indicating these crashes are more frequent during the colder months.
Less daylight affects visibility and there is a lack of sidewalk access due to snow and ice. Pedestrian fatalities are also more likely to happen in the evening.