New data shows number of fatal pedestrian accidents up since 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Monday’s fatal pedestrian accident on Union Avenue is a reminder of how dangerous Memphis streets can be.

Colonel Keith Watson of the Memphis Police Department said, “our officers have made significance in uncovering facts about what actually occurred on that roadway.”

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This accident is one of 24 so far this year where a pedestrian was struck. 

FOX13 found that 65 people were hit and killed by vehicles last year.  That’s a significant jump from 2019 when 41 people were involved in that type of accident.

Watson believes the stay-at-home orders from the pandemic resulted in more people out and about.

Watson said another factor was people driving faster and not paying attention.  

“So excessive speed does play a factor where a person receives critical injuries, survive or not survive,” said Watson.

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Catching the driver and charging them is never as quick as victim’s families would like.

Investigators rely on witnesses, surveillance video, and hopefully the driver turning themselves into police.  Some cases can take years to solve.

FOX13 looked at the Memphis Police Facebook page as the department posted five unsolved cases of fatal hit and run accidents dating back to December of 2020.  

“We have crashes that occur. Some people remain on the scene. Some people leave the scene” said Watson.

Memphis Police are very adamant they need the public’s help in solving any hit and run fatal accident.  

The department also stresses the need for the driver to stay on the scene because in some cases the accident may not be their fault.