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Police warn pedestrians, drivers during spike in road deaths: Be defensive

Six deaths in past month
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Posted at 11:24 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 11:51:27-04

CINCINNATI – Police have a simple warning for pedestrians and drivers during this dangerous and deadly spike on Tri-State roads.

Be defensive. Watch out for each other.

Six Tri-Staters have been killed by cars while walking or biking in the last month. That doesn't include the 77-year-old woman fighting for her life after a hit-and-run driver struck her down in a crosswalk at Ninth and Central Downtown Tuesday night.

RELATED: Police still looking for hit-skip driver who ran down Irene Swain

Two people were killed in just the past week: a babysitter pushing a stroller in a crosswalk and a walker on a 7 a.m. stroll in her neighborhood.

WCPO went to police to ask what might be causing so many serious incidents. Is the warm weather that brings so many people outside a contributing factor?

"I don't think there's a big trend. I don't think it's specific to the time of year. It's been nice all summer," said Lt. Bruce Hoffbauer, commander of the Cincinnati Police Traffic Unit.

Hoffbauer says pedestrians need to use the crosswalk and take a second look even when they get the walk signal.

"It doesn't mean you are absolutely free from being struck. Sometimes people are not paying attention. You have to be a defensive driver and you have to be a defensive pedestrian," he said. "So know when you cross the street, even on a walk light, somebody might not see you and you have to react as fast as you can.

Drivers have to pay attention to those crossing the street, he said. And if something does happen, don't drive off.

"If they stay and render aid and call police, it helps us and helps them and helps the victim," Hoffbauer said.  "Leaving the scene does nothing but complicate it for the person who drove the car and left the scene."