LAS VEGAS -- Pedestrians across the Las Vegas valley are worried for their safety after a record number of pedestrian deaths last year.
This week, 18-year-old Jesse Hill and his girlfriend were run down while walking on a North Las Vegas sidewalk. Jesse died and his 16-year-old girlfriend is in critical condition.
The 19-year-old who was behind the wheel of the car that hit them is facing several charges connected to the crash and may face more when the investigation is finished. According to police, speed, drugs and alcohol may be factors in the crash.
The number of pedestrian accidents were up dramatically over last year. According to Metro Police, pedestrian accidents jumped 80 percent in 2012.
Those numbers frighten people who walk to work, or the store, or walk the dog or push a baby stroller.
"I have seen car accidents. I have seen cars turn over. One vehicle took that post out over there," pedestrian Stefano Thurman said, pointing to a section along Decatur Boulevard.
"Constantly watch your back, I guess you can say. You constantly glance and turn to make sure nobody is coming up on the sidewalk," pedestrian Shabreia Woodson said.
Throughout the Las Vegas valley, there are very few barriers protecting pedestrians from reckless drivers.
Police do not have exact numbers on how many pedestrians were killed on sidewalks last year, but say this continues to be a huge problem.
Officers say there are a few things those walking can do to stay safe:
- Do not use your phone
- Do not use headphones
- Anticipate danger:
- Walk facing traffic
- Use a crosswalk
- Make eye contact with drivers
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