On March 21st, Crystal Brown, a 30-year-old woman from North Little Rock, was struck and killed in a pedestrian collision, by an oncoming vehicle while reportedly standing along the shoulder of I-530. The driver of the vehicle, who was not immediately identified to the public, was taken to Pine Bluff’s Jefferson Regional Medical Center with unspecified injuries.
According to initial information released by the Arkansas State Police, the deadly pedestrian accident occurred near the 33 mile marker on the northbound section of Interstate 530. Law enforcement officers believe that the victim was attempting to load a couch back onto her vehicle after it came loose. Though, the specific cause of the accident has not been confirmed and the incident remains under active investigation.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a serious public safety issue in our region. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that there were 23 pedestrian fatalities reported in the state of Arkansas in the first half of 2018 (January 1st to June 30th). For reference, that means that the pedestrian fatality rate for Arkansas is 0.78 per 100,000 residents—a figure that is the 16th highest rate in the nation and slightly more than ten percent above the national average.
The GHSA recommends a number of different reforms to help states, including Arkansas, improve pedestrian safety and reduce the risk of fatal collisions. First, researchers believe high risk areas must be identified. Next, they support additional funding for targeted enforcement operations to combat the types of negligent driving that put people in danger. Finally, they recommend strong public information and awareness campaigns aimed at educating both motorists and pedestrians.
For family members and other close loved ones, there is nothing more traumatic or devastating than losing someone in an accident. While there is no way to make up for such a heartbreaking loss, Arkansas law does provide legal remedies for family members of the victim.
As described by Fayetteville personal injury attorney J. Timothy Smith, “A wrongful death claim arises when a person is killed because of the reckless or careless conduct of another party. By taking legal action, a personal representative of the estate can hold the negligent defendant to justice and recover financial support for out-of-pocket losses, loss of financial support from the victim, and loss of care, comfort, and guidance.