3 year-old Anthony Meade was squashed to death in crosswalk at 20th and Camelback Rd, Phoenix on 12/4/2013 ~ 7:30PM. The driver (whose name apparently has not been released and is referred to only as a 26-year-old) was driving a 2009 Toyota Tundra, a large pickup…
All parties were northbound; the driver making a left from 20th Street onto Camelback, and the peds were crossing Camelback at the intersection.
The news stories say only that the driver will be tested for impairment; in other words the Phoenix PD is hinting the driver was not apparently impaired.
This crash reminded me of another stroller/pedestrian death a few year ago driver-cited-in-death-of-baby-in-stroller in Phoenix on 9/14/2009. The victim was a 7-month old was killed instantly as a driver failed to yield as she exited a private driveway in her SUV. The driver was ticketed.
Drivers operating pickups and other so-called “light trucks and vans” which includes SUVs account for a disproportionately high number of pedestrian fatalities (Lefler 2004, Paulozzi 2005) ; but nobody seems to care. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is charged with traffic safety, the federal gov’t has regulated bumper heights of passenger cars for over 40 years; Light trucks are exempted from, among other things, bumper height regulations and that’s the way the industry likes it because taller vehicles look cool and can drive over things when used off-road; but have an unfortunate tendency to drive over things like pedestrians when used on-road.
Lefler DE, Gabler HC. (2004) The Fatality and Injury Risk of Light Truck Impacts with Pedestrians in the United States. Accid. Anal. Prev., Vol. 36, pp. 295–304.
Paulozzi LJ. (2005) United States Pedestrian Fatality Rates by Vehicle Type. Inj. Prev., Vol. 11, pp. 232–236.
(these studies are linked here under What if your Crash Partner is a Pedestrian? )