Eighty-year-old JoAnn Carlson was walking to Hideaway Pizza on Cherry Street when she was struck by a car last December and died from her injuries. The car that hit her left the scene.
Her son Joe says traffic was never something he worried about concerning his mother living in the congested area.
“It wasn’t traffic I was worried about, but people who take advantage of an older person alone.” Carlson says. “I never expected that to happen because she is usually so aware of her surroundings."
Three months after her death no one has come forward with information about the car that hit her.
Corporal Steve Wood, a traffic officer with Tulsa Police Department’s Riverside Division, says the area was “crowded and jammed packed” at the time, “yet we just don’t have witnesses down here.”
Cherry Street is a busy place for shoppers, while FOX23’s Abbie Alford talked with Joe, a driver honked their car horn at another driver who had stopped at the crosswalk for a shopper.
But it’s not just Cherry Street that’s dangerous for people on foot; other parts of the city also call for caution.
Since last year, Fox23 News has reported more than a dozen hit and run accidents involving people all over Tulsa, at least three have been fatal.
Police call these accidents “auto peds,” and say they’re often solved because of forthcoming witnesses. Right now, at least seven of those cases are closed, but not Joann’s.
“We are not interested in revenge,” Carlson says. “We just want justice.”
The city says 16 LED lights have been installed between Utica and Peoria helping to brighten Cherry Street and minimize the potential for more accidents. They are aiming to have a total of 18 new LED lights. There are also more neon crosswalk signs, still more improvements are needed to make Cherry Street safe.
At least one crosswalk at 15th Street and Cherry is nearly unidentifiable because the paint has faded. Officers say it needs to be repainted.
The city has also added new angled parking on the north side of the street to allow more parking for businesses. Those new spots also serve as new dangers for both drivers backing onto the road, and pedestrians trying to cross the street.
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