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New surveillance video shows pedestrian stepped directly in front of car that hit him

Crash happened on deadliest road in Tampa Bay
pedestrian steps in front of traffic Park Boulevard
Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2019-01-01 01:28:26-05

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — New video shows the moments before a man was hit and killed on one of Tampa Bay's deadliest stretches of roadway.

A camera captures the man’s unusual behavior in the moments leading up to the crash.

“It's probably right now, 60, 65,” said businessman Randy Heine, trying to guess the speed of vehicles passing by his mini-storage warehouse business on Park Blvd.

The speed limit there is 45 miles per hour.

Heine recently replaced his fence, after a truck driver plowed into it and knocked it down.

“That fence has been hit one, two, three, four times,” he said.

And pedestrians who don't use crosswalks are leading to deadly crashes on the road.

Heine’s surveillance camera captured the latest pedestrian fatality on December 19.

“He's going up the street, turns around and back,” Heine said, describing the image of the driver.

The man starts across Park Blvd. 200 yards from the nearest crosswalk.

He runs across three lanes of eastbound traffic, then stops in the median, where he stood for about a minute, as traffic passed by.

“He just walked in front of the car,” said Heine, describing what he spotted in the video.

In the seconds before he's struck, the man stepped into a westbound lane, hesitated, then started to turn back.

“The driver had no possible way to stop,” said Heine.

The man who was hit was 60-year-old Thomas Mercurio, who lived in Largo.

He was a disabled veteran and neighbors say he may have had vision problems.

“He had a white cane. Very noticeable,” said neighbor Don Liesener.

“I just feel sorry for the poor person that hit him that's gonna live with this for a long time,” he said.

Another pedestrian was struck and killed nearby in October, a truck driver died after crashing into a telephone pole last month. Flowers now mark the spot.

Police say there have been 31 crashes on a half mile stretch in the past year, so they're stepping up patrols.

But in just a few minutes, we spotted multiple jaywalkers.

“We don't need more law enforcement. We need people to think,” said Heine.

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