News

Driver Charged in Collision with Jogger at Charlton and Wentworth

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 31, 2013

this blog entry has been updated

Hamilton Police have charged a man with impaired driving after a jogger was struck on Charlton Avenue East at Wentworth Street South.

Charlton Avenue, on the left, curves into Wentworth Street (RTH file photo)
Charlton Avenue, on the left, curves into Wentworth Street (RTH file photo)

At around 6:00 PM yesterday, a 33-year-old female jogger was running eastbound on the north side of Charlton Avenue where Charlton turns into Wentworth when a 2006 Toyota Corolla struck her while she was crossing the road.

The jogger suffered life-threatening injuries and was transferred to hospital by Emergency Services after police on scene provided first aid.

The driver, 42-year-old Joseph Warren of Hamilton, remained at the scene of the collision. He was arrested and sent to the police station for a breathalyzer test. According to police, he blew more than three times over the legal limit. He has been charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).

Visibility is notoriously poor at Charlton and Wentworth, where the Escarpment Rail Trail crosses Wentworth and pedestrians, joggers and cyclists coexist uneasily with heavy automobile traffic. There is no marked or controlled pedestrian crossing near the corner, and the nearest controlled intersection is at Wentworth and Stinson, a distance of 250 m.

Several proposals have been made to increase safety, including a pedestrian-activated crosswalk and a large convex mirror so people can see around the corner.

The pedestrian-activated crosswalk, at a cost of $125,000, was on the ballot for the Ward 2 Participatory Budget vote, but it was not included in the "compromise" package of projects that was compiled before the vote and selected by voters.

Update:

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted October 31, 2013 at 13:42:41

This incident ended a very weird day and evening. My friend lives at that corner. We were talking about an increase in road rage and short tempers in the last week or two; I was speculating the changing season was a factor. So I was in the middle of a sentence describing some of the near misses dangerous drivers caused in the last few days, and how tiring it was almost getting deliberately mowed down by asshats every day, and while I was in the middle of that sentence this lady was mowed down 100m away from us in a stunning and distressing case in point.

This guy was apparently so drunk probably no crosswalk style would have prevented him from flying off the road and mowing someone down. Bang, just like that, another healthy 33 year old life altered for no good reason.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 31, 2013 at 14:00:43

Same as always - the roads are built like high-speed highways, but the pedestrian facilities are built for slow urban residential streets with walking paths and sidewalks crisscrossing the road. Pick one. Either protect the pedestrians or slow down the traffic.

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2013 at 21:11:59

"...a 2006 Toyota Corolla struck her while she was crossing the road."

See the problem with the language?

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By Kevin Love (anonymous) | Posted October 31, 2013 at 21:13:31 in reply to Comment 94056

In case I was too obscure...

Would we ever write "a Browning 9mm shot the bank teller shortly after the bank opened" and not mention the existence of a bank robber until two paragraphs later?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 01, 2013 at 06:07:41 in reply to Comment 94057

I completely understand your point. In this case, there are delicate issues of potential exposure to a defamation claim, as the driver has not been convicted of anything and the charges against him still need to be proven in court.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 31, 2013 at 21:20:42

That spot is definitely dangerous for people who are crossing and there are a lot of people crossing there. I often cross that spot while cycling and it's always a bit of a crapshoot - you head out into the street without being sure if someone is going to whip around that corner or not. It's inherently unsafe and it's a damn shame that it will take serious injuries or a fatality to create the impetus required to fix the problem.

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted November 01, 2013 at 00:33:30

I'll be the first to agree that blind corner is a hazard to people who are crossing around the area of the rail trail slightly further down and that this strip should be a 30km zone with yield to pedestrian signage, and not the off the Sherman 50kph but never a cop there to enforce it, so it's really 65kph.

However, this occurred as she was crossing on Charlton where she would have been visible, to the dirt path by the stair, not further down at the rail trail near Wentworth, where the corner blinds both pedestrian and driver to the other's presence, where there should be a signalized pedestrian crossing. The guy was also three times over the limit. This particular accident wasn't caused by the road's poor design. It's only about 10 meters short of that, which will be the ridiculous argument to do nothing here. I for one hope this argument gains zero traction.

As I said, this road is incredibly poorly designed and this is a clear place where a signalized, pedestrian crossing should be, instead of the stop signs and unpainted ramps on both ends of the trail. Frankly, it would be even better if the bike path tunneled under the roadway entirely and kept both types of traffic apart from each other, but the city would (rightly) say that's far too costly.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-11-01 00:35:41

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted November 01, 2013 at 09:16:19

Is Hamilton the undisputed Canadian champion city for drunk drivers? Is that why my auto insurance premium jumped dramatically when we moved to the Hamilton postal code?

The incident reports tweeted by the police service are overwhelmingly impaired drivers causing mayhem. Smashing into parked cars; running down pedestrians; colliding with other moving vehicles...all so common. The best road design on the planet won't stop this.

Comment edited by movedtohamilton on 2013-11-01 09:17:34

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By Steve (registered) | Posted November 01, 2013 at 09:24:40

Unfortunately HPS just tweeted the victim pass away. My condolences to the jogger's family. So sad, tragic and avoidable/preventable - http://hamiltonpolice.on.ca/HPS/News/Upd...

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By mainstreet (anonymous) | Posted November 03, 2013 at 07:12:25

this is so sad, my condolences to the family of the jogger. There is no excuse for a drunk behind the wheel. My anger over this prevents me from saying what I really feel towards the driver.

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By Richard (anonymous) | Posted September 10, 2014 at 23:44:37

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major cause of road accidents anywhere in the world. Even though there are lots of people getting convicted for the same everyday, the crime still persists strong as ever. Some people may find a way out of punishment with the help of some smart dui lawyers like Kostman & Pyzer Barristers in Toronto, but a lot of others are getting punished everyday. Stricter laws are required to reduce driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and thereby reducing accidents due to it.

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