Woman killed crossing street in Ahwatukee

48th Street, Phoenix, just south of Ray Road.
48th Street, Phoenix, just south of Ray Road.

Saturday night 2/12/2016 ~ 9:45PM. Victim Nina Hale, 68. 48th Street south of Ray Road, Phoenix (the “Ahwatukee” area of Phoenix).

Victim wasn’t in a crosswalk — case closed! I should admit right up front I have no particular idea of what actually happened. It is quite possible, likely even, that the driver was doing nothing legally wrong — i.e. they already said he didn’t seem to be impaired, and it’s likely he was driving within what is considered a reasonable speed — and the victim was doing “everything” legally wrong, because a pedestrian outside of a crosswalk must yield to any vehicles on the roadway. That said, this is going to turn into a rant about high-speed arterial roadway design so beloved by sunbelt traffic engineers…

I see from the pics it was on 48th, south of Ray by the southern strip mall driveway. The road here is monstrously wide in human scale — about 107 feet.

Driver making a prohibited left turn onto 48th St.

[As an aside, I mean unrelated to this collision:This crossing is considered so dangerous (for motorists) that only right turns are permitted out of the stripmall’s driveways on both sides of 48th St.
Drivers, of course, routinely disregard the RTO signage and make an illegal left or go straight across from one stripmall to the other]

So for context, from for example Ross or the AMC movie theaters on the east stripmall, to Michael’s / Sprouts on the west stripmall.

This is some 600′ south of the nearest signalized intersection (48th and Ray Road)… so it’s pretty easy to understand why a pedestrian doesn’t want to walk an extra quarter of a mile just to cross the street.
The next closest marked crosswalk is 2000′ south of the driveway near where she was killed (at Thistle Landing Drive).
There is an unmarked crosswalk at Desert Trumpet Drive but that’s of little use to pedestrians because drivers routinely violate pedestrian’s right of way at crosswalks. Also, humorously, traffic engineer are loathe to place marked crosswalks anywhere across arterial roads except at signalized intersections because they know drivers will (also) disregard their duty to yield the right of way at such a crosswalk. This also has the beauty of placing all legal responsibility solely on the pedestrian and helps maintain very high speeds, speeds likely to result in a fatality in any pedestrian collision.


Woman killed crossing street in Ahwatukee
A woman was killed Saturday night after being struck by a car while crossing the street near 48th Street and Ray Road in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, police said… The woman, identified as Nina Hale, 68, was struck about 9:45 p.m., by a Mazda Miata traveling south on 48th Street, said Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. Vince Lewis…


“Jaywalking” tends to be misunderstood — I have yet to look up the local (Phoenix) ordinances. Where she was crossing would not have been prohibited by any state law since the two intersections she was nearest (so, Ray Road to her north, and Desert Trumpet to her south) were not both signal controlled. In other words, it would not be a violation of 28-734 Section C.

For a curated list of Arizona state laws relating to pedestrians: ped-excerpts.html

2 thoughts on “Woman killed crossing street in Ahwatukee”

  1. 28-701 Reasonable and prudent speed; prima facie evidence; exceptions.

    A. A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual or potential hazards then existing. A person shall control the speed of a vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with any object, person, vehicle or other conveyance on, entering or adjacent to the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others.

    28-793. Crossing at other than crosswalk
    A. A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

    28-794. Driver to exercise due care
    Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter every driver of a vehicle shall:
    1. Exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on any roadway.
    2. Give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.
    3. Exercise proper precaution on observing a child or a confused or incapacitated person on a roadway.

  2. BikePGH has a related story about criminalization of walking:

    In Mt. Lebanon (PA), Officials View Pedestrians as the Menace
    Rather than looking for real solutions to improve pedestrian safety, Mount Lebanon legislators and law enforcement teamed up to craft and pass a bill that criminalizes pedestrians with up to $300 in fines and fees. The bill is officials’ way of fixing at the region’s pesky “pedestrian entitlement” problem. (No, seriously, that’s a direct quote).

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