Police urge residents not to walk in the street
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
The city has seen a high number of hit-and-run incidents involving pedestrians in the first part of the year, and police are reminding the public about the dangers of walking in the street.
The most recent hit-and-run accident occurred over the weekend when 50-year-old David Reiner of Youngstown was struck while walking along North Meridian Road late Saturday.
Reiner was taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center for treatment, where he remained for two days listed in stable condition. Police said he left the hospital early Monday without being released.
Patricia Garcar of the police department’s accident- investigation division said police are looking for the driver of a small, light-colored car believed to have hit Reiner. The driver did not stop, call for help or check to see if Reiner was injured.
Garcar said Reiner’s accident is at least the 13th car-pedestrian accident this year. The city also is investigating several hit-and-run accidents that have killed one person and left seven injured.
Robert Brown, 23, of Youngstown, reportedly was leaving a bar on Hylda Avenue in early February walking to his car with a friend. A car traveling down Hylda at a considerable rate of speed hit Brown as he was walking. The car continued without stopping.
Brown was rushed to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he later died.
Several days after Brown’s death, five people gathered for a vigil in his honor were run down in another hit-and-run incident. The victims in that incident all survived.
Police have not said anyone hit in the fatal or multiple hit-and-run incidents were at fault, but Garcar said some of the other accidents involving pedestrians could have been avoided.
“If there are sidewalks provided, then people really need to use those sidewalks,” Garcar said.
Police can issue citations to people not using sidewalks and walking in the street, Garcar said. In fact, police did issue a citation last week to someone walking in the street but who was not involved in an accident.
Garcar said drivers also need to drive more defensively and anticipate people running in the street or not using sidewalks as required by law.