Date: January 13, 2010
Location: Highway 30 near NW Harborton Drive, Portland, Oregon
Names: Zeken Barker
Zeken Barker, a 25-year-old from Portland, was walking on Highway 30 near NW Harborton Drive in Portland, Oregon, when he was hit by a car and killed around 5:15 AM, January 13, 2010.
Barker, died in the accident. Police did not name the driver; she was not injured and stayed at the accident until police arrived.
Portland police said Barker was hit in dark, rainy conditions. He was also wearing dark clothing.
Police do not believe alcohol or speeding was involved, and no citations were issued.
We send our wishes to Barker’s family after this tragic accident, and we hope they find strength and support in family, friends, and community. Our thoughts are also with the driver, who did not leave the accident, which could have turned this into an even more devastating ordeal.
In most cases, the driver would be found at fault in a pedestrian accident. However, this is one of those situations in which the pedestrian, not the driver, could have been found at fault. Even if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, a court could side with a driver if the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing.
A commenter on KGW’s article posted the following request: “Hey KGW – How about a sidebar on how best to be seen in weather like this?” We hope the following information is helpful.
Pedestrian Safety Facts
According to a 2007 report from the NHTSA, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic crash, on average, every 113 minutes. In other words, there is a pedestrian death in the U.S. almost every two hours. And a pedestrian is injured in a crash every 8 minutes.
A total of 70,000 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2007. In Oregon, 48 pedestrians died in 2007.
The most dangerous time to cross the street, by far, is a weekend evening. Nearly one-half of all pedestrian deaths occurred on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A total of 35 percent happened on a weekend between 8 PM and 11:59 PM.
The next riskiest time: weekday afternoons (between 4 PM and 7:59 PM), with 24 percent of deaths.
How to Stay Safe
· Wear light, bright, or reflective clothing during poor weather and at night.
· Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight.
· Walk on the sidewalk when possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
· Cross at designated crosswalks when available.
· Remember Mom’s advice: “Stop, look, and listen” before crossing. If a parked car is blocking your view of the street, stop at the edge of the vehicle and look around it before crossing the rest of the way.
· Be especially careful at intersections. Failure to yield right of way often occurs when a driver is turning.