Man hit by car, suffers life-threatening injuries

Crosswalk on Mill Plain 'just not effective,' says clerk

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: December 29, 2011, 10:24 PM

 
Accident Scene

A middle-aged man was in “extremely critical condition” Thursday night after he was struck by a vehicle on East Mill Plain Boulevard west of Andresen Road. The injuries were “potentially life-threatening,” a fire department official said.

The accident was reported about 5 p.m. The man was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

At the scene, a reporter was told the pedestrian who was hit was a man about 50.

He was struck in or very near a lighted crosswalk between the First Independent Bank, on the south side of Mill Plain, and a 76 gas station and convenience store on the north side

Sgt. Kathy McNicholas said specialists with the Traffic Unit didn’t know whether the man was hit in the crosswalk, and were working to determine that.

Traffic specialists are using cameras, taking measurements and entering the data into computers to completely map where each piece of evidence was found.

“They shoot the whole scene from all around it,” she said.

As of 9 p.m., police had not publicly identified the victim, but McNicholas said that the last she heard, he was alive and in surgery.

 Alcohol and/or drugs were not involved, she said.

Police also had not identified the driver, who stopped and is cooperating with police, she said.

When a pedestrian pushes the crosswalk button, a recorded voice says, “Cross the street with caution. Vehicles may not stop.”

Two yellow lights for each direction then flash slowly over the crosswalk.

Police blocked westbound traffic on Mill Plain; eastbound traffic was allowed through slowly.

As for the crosswalk, Nick Tkachenko, 37, said, “I think it’s time they fix it.”

He said he lives nearby and buys his fuel at the 76 station.

At the station, clerk Linda Minifie said she didn’t see what happened, but the longtime employee works close to the crosswalk.

“A lot of people who are driving, I don’t know if they pay attention or what,” she said. “You hear people slamming on their brakes all the time. I guess it’s just not effective.”

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.

John Branton:360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.