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Law enforcement frustrated by spike in pedestrian crashes

Pinellas Park crash kills 71-year-old man Monday
Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 11, 2019

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Tampa Bay area law enforcement officials are fuming after yet another pedestrian death.

The driver, 57-year-old Glenn Walker, tells Pinellas Park Police Officers he didn’t see the pedestrian, 71-year-old William Folsom, until it was too late.

Officers say Folsom stepped out into the middle of the six-lane highway just after 6:30 a.m. The conditions were dark because of the recent daylight saving time changes. Heavy fog also cloaked the roadway.

Pinellas Park Police say Folsom was killed on impact. He was wearing dark clothing and crossed the highway less than one block from the nearest crosswalk.

It’s frustrating for police officers across Pinellas County who tell ABC Action News they’ve stepped up enforcement, added dozens of new crosswalks, put in brighter street lights…and are at wit’s end trying to find ways to keep pedestrians safe.

“The frustration comes when we have to tell another family that their loved one isn’t coming home. We need the community as a whole to really come together and focus on their driving and focus on using crosswalks,” Sgt. Lonnie Lancto of the Pinellas Park Police Department elaborated.

Across the country, pedestrian deaths are at the highest level in 28 years, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Florida was recently named the most dangerous state for walkers.

Officers say Walker, the driver of the Jeep, remained on scene and cooperated with the investigation. Speed and impairment do not appear to be factors in this crash. No charges or citations are pending.

Officers also say Folsom was cited for crossing outside a crosswalk just four months earlier.