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Pedestrian deaths under investigation
Two fatalities highlight the need for caution while out walking, according to the police.
The Vernon RCMP are investigating two deaths involving pedestrians — one Tuesday in Okanagan Landing and one Wednesday in the BX.
“The RCMP are asking anyone that is considering walking on our streets in the evening or at night to seriously consider wearing bright clothing or reflective type material so you are visible, or have a flashlight so drivers are better able to see you,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.
“In both recent cases, the victims of the accidents were wearing dark clothing and lighting and weather conditions made them very difficult to see.”
On Tuesday, 56-year-old Debbie Margaret Hay of Vernon was walking along Okanagan Landing Road, near Myriad Road, at around 5:15 p.m. when she was struck by a 2005 Hyundai, driven by a 53-year-old Vernon man.
“The driver told police he was westbound and, suddenly, she was right in front of him,” said Molendyk.
Preliminary results from the police investigation have ruled out alcohol as a factor on the part of the Hyundai’s driver.
“Lighting conditions at the time, and the fact the woman was wearing dark clothing, are factors in the investigation,” said Molendyk.
The weather was a mix of rain and snow, and police say Okanagan Landing Road was wet at the time of the accident Tuesday.
The car was taken by RCMP officers for a mechanical inspection.
According to police, the driver was not physically injured, but was said to be shaken up by the incident.
On Wednesday, officers from the Vernon RCMP received a report of a pedestrian-related accident in the BX.
At about 4:20 p.m., an elderly man was crossing Silver Star Road in a marked crosswalk near the BX fire hall when he was struck by a northbound vehicle.
“The victim was conscious at the scene and was transported to hospital where he later died of his injuries,” said Molendyk.
“Police do not feel speed and alcohol, are factors in the investigation.”
Police, including a crash analyst, were back on scene Thursday investigating the Silver Star Road accident.
Both the driver and the victim, whose name has not been released, are from the Vernon area.