Friday, July 21, 2006

Pedestrian hit by car in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

A 16-year-old motorist who allegedly struck a pedestrian Tuesday in Hailey has been cited for failing to yield, an infraction, and leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor.

The incident took place at 1:50 p.m. at the intersection of West Croy and Main streets, Hailey police officer Lt. Dave Stellers said.

The pedestrian, Daniel Fierman, 21, suffered minor scrapes from hitting the pavement and had a stiff hip afterwards, Stellers said.

The driver was turning south on Main Street when she struck Fierman, the officer said. "She later said she didn't see the person in the crosswalk."

Since May 2004, when a 45-year-old Los Angeles woman was struck and killed while crossing the intersection of Bullion and Main streets, an estimated three pedestrians or bicyclists have been struck by motorists in Hailey, Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said.

The fatal accident prompted the city to make several changes to the intersection, including the addition of turning lanes.

Overall, some 15 pedestrians or bicyclists have been struck in the past five years, McNary said. About two-thirds of those accidents have been the result of turning movements by automobile drivers, he estimated.

In general, it all comes down to "so many people fighting for the same piece of asphalt," McNary said.

Tuesday's accident follows efforts by the Hailey Police Department earlier this month to promote greater pedestrian and bicycle safety.

On Friday, July 7, the department positioned a plain-clothes police officer at the intersection of Main and Myrtle streets. The officer, Sgt. Steve England, spent three hours crossing back and forth over Main Street. Drivers who failed to yield to England were immediately pulled over by one of two police officers positioned nearby.

The program yielded about 20 stops, England said. Of those, eight offenders were given traffic citations, five received warnings and seven were sent to traffic school, he said.

Police officers will conduct another operation later this summer, on Friday, Aug. 18.

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