Some pedestrians choosing alternate route after Thursday's accident


by Brooke Hasch

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 13 at 5:59 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The rain soaked pavement at Second and Main streets became the road less traveled Friday morning as dozens of pedestrians chose another route to work.

"You see I came this way instead of that way today," Karen Foster said.

Foster, who works at O'Sheas, used to take the crosswalk that connects Bearnos Pizza to the Yum Center every day. But, the close calls she's witnessed are nothing compared the tragic event that took place there Thursday morning.

"That was horrible. It happened so quick," Foster said.

Police are still looking into a deadly crash involving an Advance Ready Mix cement truck that struck and killed 24-year-old Ryann Tewell.

The accident happened around 7:45 a.m. Thursday as Tewell had just stepped onto the crosswalk heading to work. Her death shocked her colleagues within the Humana family.

"There's just so many things that can happen, you know what I mean?" Vlad Efman, a Humana employee, said. "I do get a little bit nervous when I start walking."

Locals who use the crosswalk from both sides said they know how dangerous it can be.

"I've seen cars rip around the corner and I've seen runners run across the street, so you know, both have to watch out,"  Jeanette Cheatham, a walker, said.

"They just see the green light that's for the cars to go straight and so, they're assuming it's a green light for them to turn as well. But first, you know, they have to yield to pedestrians. It's not an automatic green," Humana employee Olga Vislosky said.

"It's like a five-lane cross, so it's really dangerous. I, myself, go under the bridge. You can't see, when you come around this corner, you can't see who's standing here to your right, until you're turning and it's too late to put on your breaks," Foster said.

The walkers said it's not too late to make a change.

"Don't let anybody cross here, on their feet. Just let the cars go here," Cheatham said.

"I think it would be nice if they could put a walk bridge across the top, you know, where you can take the steps and walk across," Foster said.

For now, they'll continue to take a different path to work and look twice before crossing the road and hope motorists do the same.

"I always stop and make sure that the driver always sees me. I'll flag them. I'll do anything I can so they see me," Vislosky said.

WHAS 11 News also made calls to city officials on this public safety matter.

Harold Adams with Metro Public Works said they will conduct a pedestrian safety audit to make sure the conditions are optimal for pedestrians once they receive the accident report from police.

Adams said, typically, audits are not performed when a traffic accident happens, but after Thursday's accident, combined with a change in traffic pattern associated with bridge construction, an audit should be done.

He also said the curbs around the arena and the median on Second Street were expanded for pedestrians once the arena was built.