Pedestrian deaths rise in Louisville, despite city efforts to cu - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pedestrian deaths rise in Louisville, despite city efforts to curb incidents

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Remembrance banners mark a year since Ryann Tewell was killed on the Second Street Bridge when a cement truck hit her. Remembrance banners mark a year since Ryann Tewell was killed on the Second Street Bridge when a cement truck hit her.
A $300,000 grant is supposed to help reduce the number of pedestrians killed in Louisville, but the number has already more than doubled this year compared to this time last year. A $300,000 grant is supposed to help reduce the number of pedestrians killed in Louisville, but the number has already more than doubled this year compared to this time last year.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Remembrance banners mark a year since Ryann Tewell was killed on the Second Street Bridge when a cement truck hit her.

A $300,000 grant is supposed to help reduce the number of pedestrians killed in Louisville, but the number has already more than doubled this year compared to this time last year.

Louisville is one of the deadliest cities to walk in. In 2014, 18 people were killed. We are already halfway there, and double where we were this time last year. 

"We've had nine fatals this year versus four (by this time) last year," said Lt. Joe Seelye with LMPD's traffic unit says. He says it is usually not the driver's fault. 

"For both years, 75 percent of the time, the pedestrian is at fault," said Seelye.

He says pedestrians are jaywalking, drunk, on a cell phone, or wearing dark clothes at night.

Louisville is one of three cities with a $300,000 federal safety grant to educate drivers and pedestrians.

Seelye says police have focused on five main areas. 

"Those are Second and Broadway, Fourth and Broadway, Fourth and Market, Preston and Gilmore and Bardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane. We can see a decrease in people running the light as well as the pedestrians," said Seelye.

Police officers are educating drivers who are in the wrong -- and pedestrians who are not alert.

The Yum Center is another area where officers focus efforts, somewhere that's seen a handful of pedestrian accidents in the past year. 

Seelye hopes he can stretch out the operation to more areas. 

"One of our fatals was on the interstate, people walking on the interstate that's obviously not a good idea to do, it is frustrating because we really try hard to get out there and educate people and enforce people," Seelye explained.

LMPD will also soon roll out a decoy operation where an undercover officer will walk crosswalks--looking to educate and cite drivers and pedestrians.

More: SUNDAY EDITION | Pedestrian deaths climb in 2014 to highest level in four years

More: Family of pedestrian killed in crash with cement truck at Clark Memorial Bridge files lawsuit

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