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Elderly woman dies trying to cross street on Westside

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Updated: 11/06/2013 6:20 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An elderly woman is dead after being killed trying to cross the road.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Wilda Peterson Godwin, 85, was hit by a car. She was not crossing in a crosswalk.

"I was not surprised at all," said one neighbor.

Neighbors who live near the intersection of Timuquana and Ortega Farms Roads said the crosswalk barely gets used. And they said drivers sometimes have a hard time dodging the people as they cross.

"I've gone down this road and had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting people. They're constantly, this whole stretch of road down here, running across the road," said the neighbor.

FHP said the driver, identified as Michael Alexander Williams, struck the woman Wednesday morning. Williams told investigators he couldn't react fast enough to stop his 2013 Chevy Camaro.

"They were emotionally distraught, if you will, due to the tragic circumstances of this incident," said Sgt. Dylan Bryan.

Right now the driver doesn't face charges. Williams submitted a blood draw. 

Investigators pulled surveillance video from nearby businesses to see if speed played a role in the incident.

FHP said it's Florida law to cross at a crosswalk. But Bryan said that's a law pedestrians aren't following.

Action News asked the Florida Highway Patrol how big of a problem this is. They said there have been 396 pedestrian crashes so far this year in Duval County -- 28 have been fatal. Thirty-six of the crashes happened on Timuquana Road. Four of those crashes were fatal.

"This road should not be 50 mph speed limit," said the neighbor.

Bryan said speed isn't the problem. Pedestrians need to be better educated on the law and the risks.

"More education, more enforcement on the roadway in reference to these pedestrian violations that way situations like this can be reduced or possibly eliminated," he said.

Godwin would've turned 86 years old on Thursday.

 

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