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Another Pedestrian Hit

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Another Pedestrian Hit

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
December 24, 2007

Yesterday another pedestrian was hit in Woodstock. From news reports, it seems this time that the vehicle, described as a green Ford Taurus with possible right front-end damage, swerved to its right to hit the pedestrian from behind and then left the scene. The accident happened in the 700 block of Washington, and the driver of the vehicle reportedly fled west, turning south on Mary Anne Street.

Obviously, someone witnessed the accident, in order to describe the vehicle to the police and to provide the information that the vehicle swerved toward the pedestrian before hitting him. The witnesses are not identified in the news article; the location of the witnesses was not given.

Were they on foot in front of one of the nearby residences? Were the witnesses in a car following the vehicle that hit the pedestrian?

Give some thought to what you would do, if you witnessed such an accident. Would you stop to help? Give first aid? Call 9-1-1? Or would you give chase and try to get close enough to get a license plate number or even follow the vehicle to its residence?

Would there be time to stop and let a passenger out to give aid, and then take off after the vehicle that fled the scene? Can you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone safely while operating your car?

Considering programming the telephone number for the Woodstock Police Department into your cell phone. Choose a SpeedDial position on your cell phone, so that you can dial the number by pressing only one button. Dialing the Woodstock PD directly will speed up contact with a local police dispatcher. Dialing 9-1-1 will connect you with an Emergency Services operator, who may or may not be at the Woodstock PD; if not, then a delay results while the call is transferred.

The damaged Ford (if it was a Ford) is probably in a garage over the holiday. Keep an eye out. If you see a green Ford Taurus with right front-end damage, get the license plate number and call the Woodstock P.D. Tell them exactly where you saw the car. Call as soon as you see it; don’t wait.

Is it time for Woodstock Police to be more aggressive in contacting persons walking in the streets, where sidewalks are available? Should they make contact with persons walking “with” traffic, instead of against traffic (where they can see oncoming vehicles)?

Is it time for the City of Woodstock to require property owners to clear sidewalks of snow? Many cities and towns require property owners to clear snow of a certain depth within fairly short periods of time after the snowfall stops. The only reason people don’t clear their sidewalks is that they are not required to do so.

How many more serious injuries and fatalities do we need in Woodstock before corrective actions are taken?

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