The eternal gruesome joke goes something like this: If you wanna kill somebody and get away with it, use a car.
These days the “joke” might need to be updated to reflect how many high-profile SUVs and trucks are on the road, but the seeming endless veracity that walking deaths often involve hit-and-run drivers who are never caught remains in tact.
Take the case of the late Ronald Nez.
According to the most up-to-date crash and supplemental reports, Mr. Nez was killed in the crosswalk of Candelaria at Richmond at about 5:30 pm this past December the 8th. As of today, the driver has not been found and no witness reports can be found in the record to date.
While it has been only around two months since the incident, and it’s possible the perpetrator may be caught (perhaps with the help of witnesses who have not yet come forward), the rate of hit-and-run drivers who are never caught is high. Sizable enough to reflect upon how many vehicular murderers are driving our roadways every day.
Not a pleasant thought, especially if you use non-motorized means to get around town.
Two other notable aspects of the Nez case:
- Perhaps reflecting the state of our City, first responders initially arrived on the scene in response to a shooting. The supplemental reports are a little unclear on whether Candelaria/Richmond was the purported scene of the shooting or not. It’s pretty wild out there these days.
- Technically, depending on how you look at it, the police crime scene drawing above isn’t correct.
For reasons illustrating just how hostile our walking infrastructure is here, technically there is not a marked crosswalk across the west side of Candelaria at Richmond. There’s no “piano striping” and no “walk/don’t walk” light.
Yet, there’s a bus stop immediately adjacent to the non-crosswalk. Not to mention a Lotaburger just behind and to the left of the point of view shown above. Why there isn’t a marked crosswalk/light on the west side of this intersection is just another one of those “jokes” perpetrated by our infrastructure fathers over the years. We most assuredly need some new thinking in this regard. Maybe switching from 100% “fathers” would help.
In trying to decipher the crash and supplemental reports, it’s also possible the drawing above is incorrect in that Mr. Nez was hit in the “marked/signalized” crosswalk on the east side of the intersection instead. Reflecting the sad reality of Burque walking deaths in cases of hit-and-run, we’ll probably never know much about what happened or precisely where it happened.
Far more certain, almost 100 percent so, is that there is a driver freely zooming around our City daily who has already killed at least one person. There is that.
Stay safe out there, everybody.