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Catherine Heller, an 89-year old Snohomish resident, was killed Monday when a car struck her while she was crossing the street. The accident occurred at approximately 5:15 p.m. as Ms. Heller crossed the street near the intersection of Second Street and Avenue A in Snohomish. Police have not yet determined whether they will cite the driver of the vehicle involved.

More information about the accident can be found at the following link: Snohomish Woman Killed in Accident.

Regardless of whether the police bring criminal charges, Ms. Heller’s family may have a valid civil claim against the driver. They should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss their rights and options.

An average of 26 pedestrians die in King County, for example, each year as a result of crashes involving motor vehicles, according to a report by Public Health – Seattle & King County. The report calls for increased pedestrian safety education and enforcement activities, in addition to convening partners to further explore and address pedestrian safety issues.

“Walking is one of healthiest forms of transportation for people and the environment,” said Dorothy Teeter, Interim Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County . “This report clearly shows that mixing pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic can sometimes be tragic. We are committed to working with our partners to eliminate pedestrian injuries and promote walking as a safe and healthy activity.”

Among the study’s main findings:

-Males accounted for the majority of deaths (62 percent).
-Almost 30 percent of the deaths involved people ages 40 to 49 years old, the greatest percentage of any age group.
-After age 60, women pedestrians were more likely to die in crashes. Women 70 to 79 years of age had the highest pedestrian fatality rate.

Other key findings:

-November, December, and January are especially dangerous months for pedestrians.
-Pedestrian fatalities were most likely to happen during work rush hours and times of darkness.
-People of color made up nearly 40 percent of the deaths. In particular, Asian and Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives were disproportionately affected.
-Forty-two percent of the fatalities were the result of unsafe crossing practices.
-Fifty-nine percent of the pedestrians were killed on roads with posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less.
-Almost half of the pedestrian fatalities took place in Seattle, especially in its denser urban areas.

The full report, “A Profile of Pedestrian Fatalities in King County , Washington 2000 – 2003,” is available online at the following link: Pedestrian Fatality Profile.

Public Health studied all 103 pedestrian fatalities involving motor vehicles between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2003.

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