In a report they call the Pedestrian Danger Index, a group called Smart Growth America took a look at the number of people struck and killed by drivers while they were walking to the number of people living in a given area. The report discovered that Florida has more pedestrian deaths in comparison with the population than any other state in the nation. Eight of the top ten worst cities were in Florida. St. Petersburg and Tampa were listed in 9th place overall for most pedestrian deaths. They had the most deaths on the list, 900 deaths in 9 years. Nationwide, pedestrian deaths are up 35% between 2008 and 2017.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that a jogger was struck and killed by a driver on Bayshore Boulevard.
The accident occurred on January 9th.
Witness Christopher Martinez noticed the Pinch A Penny pool supply truck speeding and driving erratically. Shortly after, he saw that the truck crashed head-on into the balustrade. The driver of the truck was injured and lying on the ground.
Martinez stopped to help when he heard another person shout, “Oh my God, there’s a body in the water!”
Martinez then saw that there was a man face-down in Hillsborough Bay. He jumped in and pulled the injured person’s head out of the water. He was seriously injured. As there were no steps to get back onto land, Martinez and another helper leaned against the sea wall to wait for help.
Firefighters arrived on scene and used ladders and a basket to lift the man out of the bay. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
31-year-old Benjamin Douglas Ehas, the driver of the truck, was arrested later that night on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. He had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.234, nearly 3 times the legal limit.