62 year-old Woman from Wisconsin Struck and Killed While Crossing the Street Saturday Morning

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From MPD:

“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Major Crash Unit are investigating a traffic fatality which occurred at the intersection of 1st and H Streets, Northwest.

On Saturday, September 19, 2015, at approximately 9:05 am, four pedestrians entered the roadway in a marked crosswalk on H Street, Northwest, where they were struck by a 1998 Crown Victoria which was turning westbound onto H Street, Northwest from Southbound 1St Street, Northwest. The operator of the vehicle remained on the scene. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel transported all of the victims to local hospitals for treatment where one of the victims succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

The decedent has been identified as 62 year-old Janet Hoy of Watertown, Wisconsin.

This crash is currently under investigation.

The Metropolitan Police Department is asking anyone with information about this case to call the police at (202) 727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411.”

41 Comment

  • Another pedestrian mowed down in a legal pedestrian crosswalk. This city has a huge problem with drivers refusing to slow down or even stop for pedestrians in crosswalk. I almost got hit AGAIN recently by a driver who was looking everywhere but in front of her as she made a turn into my crosswalk. A few weeks ago I saw a girl on a bike get clipped while cycling through a pedestrian crosswalk. The driver didn’t even slow down. He just kept going while she picked her bike up off the ground. All over town I see NEW stop signs erected in the middle of crosswalks. Yesterday in Petworth I saw one erected in a crosswalk that already had a regular stop sign! But it’s futile, really. Drivers just don’t care. They feel the roads are for them exclusively and pedestrians are nothing more than a nuisance. I also think some drivers just don’t grasp the concept of pedestrian right-of-way and really believe the pedestrian is at fault for walking across the street in traffic. I’ve been yelled at while crossing as a driver was trying to turn. They really don’t get it.

    • +100000000 … maybe its just me, but it seems to be getting worse over the past year or so

    • The other day I was trying to cross at a marked crosswalk and of course, none of the cars were stopping or slowing down. What’s more, there was a cop there! He had to flash his lights to get them to stop. Ridiculous.

  • How do you hit a group of four people where they all require medical attention? They seem like they’d be hard to miss.

  • Blithe

    I know I’ve said this before, but I really wish that we could go back to the days before right turn on red became legal. Instead of stopping for the red, drivers often slide through it, and often pull out into the crosswalk so that that can see if they have a clear path to turn. Both of these habits are potentially lethal to pedestrians, who, I think, have started stepping out into the street on red lights to establish their position in the crosswalks. Going back to Red Means Stop would be frustrating for many drivers — but safer, I think, for both pedestrians and drivers.

    • While I agree 100% that right on red should be banned in DC, I think the motorist turned left on green here based on the description

      • I think motorists turning left on green are even worse than the ones turning right on red. I see so many drivers honking at pedestrians because they have a green light and think they have the right of way when the pedestrians have a walk sign on their side. At least people generally slow down when they have a red light.

        • YES! an a-hole turning left from Randolph on to Georgia nearly took out my baby stroller on Saturday morning and the dude clearly saw us. He just didn’t have the time to slow down and let pedestrians with a walk sign cross. You’ll never guess where his license plate was from?
          Second time this has happened this month. I mean who doesn’t at least stop for a baby stroller?

          • All the fricking time! What kind of low-life doesn’t stop for a stroller?!?! But there are so many people who don’t in DC! Drives me nuts! Uggh!
            That said – my deepest condolences to this lady’s family – they probably won’t see this but I’m putting it out there in the universe. What a tragic way to lose a family member.

      • Actually, if they were travelling southbound on 1st street, and turning west onto H street, they would be turning right onto H street, IMO.

        • not to be pedantic, and its not important, but my interpretation is that, “turning westbound onto H Street, Northwest from Southbound 1St Street, Northwest” implies that the driver turned onto the westbound side of intersection FROM the southbound side of the intersection.

        • actually, i stand corrected. most likely was a right turn from the north.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I think he/she turned right, but I agree, otherwise. It seems like the person was coming south, had a green light and turned right. The problem is the pedestrians crossing H would also have a walk signal, so they clearly just whipped to the right without looking for people walking (or maybe gased it when the light turned green, hoping to turn before the pedestrians walked out?).

    • I was driving the other day though, and waiting at a light where it clearly said “No right on red.” The guy behind me was honking and screaming at me because I wasn’t going. I’m not sure that even no turn on red would help some people slow down and stop being glassbowls.

      • It’s probably not a great thing to enjoy, but I get so much satisfaction from being the car that’s blocking an idiot like that from making an illegal right on red. Loooooooove it. Just keep freaking out behind me dude.

        • I was kind of worried this guy was going to get out and punch or shoot me though – he was super worked up and opened his door at one point. That makes me nervous!

      • I actually had a guy blaring his horn at me because I was not making a LEFT turn on a red light. Wtf??? Even a one way to one way I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in DC. Idiot.

        • I believe turning left on a one-way street is legal in Maryland, but it’s definitely not legal in D.C.
          The other week I was waiting at a red light near the Petworth Library and a guy was honking at me for (presumably?) not turning left onto a TWO-way street on a red light. I was on Georgia going north and had my turn signal on to turn left on Kansas going southwest (a workaround I often end up employing because the Georgia-Upshur intersection really needs a left-turn arrow for people turning west on Upshur, but it doesn’t have one).
          I was assuming the guy felt like he was “stuck” behind me… but even when the light changed and the right lane was completely clear for him to go around me, he stayed behind me in the left lane and kept honking. I think some people are just impatient and irritable and will honk at you for no good reason. (He had Virginia plates, incidentally.)

    • Yep, there’s a reason NYC never adopted right on red. But then, pedestrians are a greater force there. Never happen here.

  • I agree with what KPS said about the situation in the city generally. Specifically, I have to cross this particular intersection on my way to/from work each day, and it is a DISASTER. Almost daily, I think that there will come a time when I’m going to get clipped when going through it. Unfortunately, this story indicates that I might be right. Very sad, condolences to the woman’s family.

  • I hate that intersection. Just the other weekend I was crossing that intersection with my 4 year old daughter and a car made a right on red almost hitting us. They then stopped their car to chew me out for having the gall to be in the way. Their parting words were “Bi$%C, you should hold your daughter’s hand too.” What?

  • Vision Zero!

    Maybe the City will respond by putting more stickers on Cabi Bikes.

  • Driver stayed on the scene and was (presumably at 9:00 AM) sober. At most they’re getting a moving violation. It’s been said over and over, the best way to kill someone is with your car.

    • there are multiple pieces of legislation proposed recently that address distracted and drunk driving, but nothing to introduce genuine penalties for injuring or killing someone because of a “whoopsie I hit you!!” scenario. maybe because there is a belief that juries won’t convict unless hit&run, drunk, or distracted?

    • They can’t be charged with vehicular manslaughter or anything? That’s messed up.

      • all it takes is one person on the jury to be convinced that, “oh my gosh, that could have been me at the wheel! everyone makes mistakes, and now that poor driver has to live the rest of his/her life with the weight of that person’s death on their conscience!” etc etc etc. not sure if that would actually happen, but that is the reasoning ive read as to why the govt doesn’t try to prosecute “whoopsie!” traffic deaths

    • id think this would be a manslaughter case and not really a moving violation.

      • What should happen and what actually happens are dramatically different. I’m willing to be proven wrong but as far as I can remember, no auto-related death in DC has ever had a felony attached to it except in the case of hit-and-run or driver impairment.

      • Unlikely. Even in the most pedestrian-friendly jurisdictions someone who kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk and was not drunk/high/texting typically gets some points on their license and maybe a 30 day suspension if they did something particularly egregious or killed a small child.

        DC desperately needs MPD to have a funded traffic enforcement division. I fear for my life all the time, as a pedestrian, a cyclist and a driver because of the behaviors of drivers on our roads. I have been threatened repeatedly by drivers for stopping for pedestrians, failing to make illegal right or lefts on red or driving at or near the speed limit. And that’s as a driver! I’m even more scared on foot or on my bike!

  • I don’t think there is enough info to know who is at fault in this situation.

    If the pedestrians had the Walk sign, then the driver is at fault, no question. But if the driver was legally turning right on red, the pedestrians shouldn’t have been in the crosswalk (they would have been in the crosswalk with a Don’t Walk sign and H St. traffic would have had a green light). The driver still should have been able to stop before entering the intersection, but the pedestrians would have been unexpected.

    It looks like that intersection has a green arrow for right turns, if the driver had the arrow, then the pedestrians shouldn’t have been in the crosswalk in that situation either. Again, a driver should be aware of pedestrians crossing illegally, but the situation is less clear.

    • Didn’t take long before the victim-blaming to start. If you turn on a green light you should still be looking ahead. And you should definitely be able to see four people. How in the world can you not?

      I agree that if you want to legally kill someone you can just run them over in the car. Then you stay at the scene. Tell the police you didn’t see anything. And off you go! #VisionNoMorePedestrians

      • People need to follow the rules that includes the ‘spirit’ of the rules. Here’s what I see sometimes – Driver waiting to turn right on green, pedestrian has the right of way, driver waits, pedestrian does not move (often distracted by phone,) driver waits a bit longer. The driver starts to turn and the pedestrian decides that is the moment they want to step in the crosswalk. I have kids, I drive a lot in different parts of the city for different activities. I drive at reasonable speeds (the cameras helped alter that part of my behavior) I look out for cyclists & pedestrians, It can be challenging. Every time I see someone on a bike I worry because as I drive I see the number of people texting and clearly not paying attention.

      • I don’t think it’s victim blaming to say that pedestrians also have to obey signals. People walk against the light just as often as drivers turn right on red. I wouldn’t expect visitors to do it, but they also didn’t look around before they stepped out into the crosswalk.
        When I lived in Germany, friends would ridicule me for waiting for vehicles to pass before crossing a street. There, the penalty for striking a pedestrian in a crisswalk is permanent loss of license. But having lived for so long in DC, I couldn’t do it. Fault wouldnt matter one bit to me if I’m dead or paralyzed. Yes, I think drivers have to be held accountable, but the penalty for their carelessness isn’t high enough for me as a pedestrian not to take every precaution and look all around before stepping into the street.

    • The right-on-red scenario seems most likely. The driver would have been looking left for oncoming traffic and then executed their turn without looking right. Maybe the light had just turned green and the pedestrians stepped into the intersection at the same time.

    • The pedestrians couldn’t have had the “walk” signal to cross H if the driver was turning right on red *onto* H (that would imply that the traffic on H had the green, which would mean no walk signal for the pedestrians). The more likely scenario is that the pedestrians had the walk signal and the driver was turning right on *green* – the driver would have the duty to watch to see if the crosswalk was clear before turning right, in that instance. Most likely, the driver did not decelerate enough before turning *and* didn’t look for pedestrians before turning. Result: disaster.

      • If the driver was turning right on red, they weren’t looking at the light, they were looking at westbound H street traffic. I think what happened is that the light turned green, traffic stopped and the driver – still watching traffic to the left – accelerated right without looking.

        • There are a few possible scenarios here:
          – The car was turning right on green without paying attention to the pedestrians, who had the walk sign and were going straight.
          – The car was turning right on red and the pedestrians had the “Don’t Walk” signal but were crossing anyway.
          – The car had a green arrow to turn right and the pedestrians had the “Don’t Walk” signal but were crossing anyway.

      • They could have walked without the signal, not seeing any traffic coming down H and assuming that traffic coming down 1st would stop at the red. It still doesn’t excuse the driver. No matter what you have to look where you’re going, and this wasn’t a case of one person stepping out into the street. The driver hit four people who all were taken to the hospital.

  • This is so sad, the Watertown Daily Times ran her obituary and it sounds like she was a lovely person: http://www.wdtimes.com/obituaries/article_556652c6-65fc-11e5-9eb6-bb0c546893a0.html
    Her father is still alive and she was their only child 🙁 It reads that she was here with family who were likely the others who were struck and treated at the hospital, so I hope at least they are alright and will make full recoveries.

    • Thanks for posting this. She sounds like such a good soul. One of those ” salt of the earth” types. What a heartbreak for her family and community.

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