Serious Injury in Pedestrian Collision

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 26, 2011

this blog entry has been updated

Hamilton Police Service report that at 1:00 PM on October 25, an 88-year-old man was walking south across Queenston Rd. at Delena Ave. S. toward the bus stop on the south side of Queenston. Part-way across, the pedestrian was struck by a 25-year-old male driving a Honda Civic heading east in the curb lane, after another motorist stopped for him and waved him to carry on.

The pedestrian was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries and is currently in serious but stable condition. According to police, alcohol was not involved and the driver was not speeding. Detective-Constables Walter Niblock and Steve Ellis ask any witnesses to contact them at 905-546-4753.

According to Sgt Terri-Lynn Collings of Hamilton Police Service, "So far this year there have been 177 pedestrian-involved collisions with 8 resulting in death." By comparison, 2010 saw "248 pedestrian-involved collisions with 9 resulting in death."

Update: this blog entry originally stated in error that the driver of the Honda Civic waved the pedestrian on. You can jump to the changed paragraph.

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 wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By theninjasquad (registered) - website | Posted October 26, 2011 at 14:58:48

trying to understand this one. Obviously we need more details, but how did the driver still manage to hit the pedestrian after waving for him to continue crossing?

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By grumpy (anonymous) | Posted November 07, 2011 at 20:48:03 in reply to Comment 70902

Driver one waved him on. Driver two nailed him. Unfortunately it happens all the time.

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By MattM (registered) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 15:09:56

People jaywalk here often because the distance between traffic lights is from Parkdale to Reid (about 4 city blocks apart). The traffic light at Reid also gives a lot of priority to Queenston traffic. I have waited up to 60 seconds for the light to change whilst trying to cross at Reid. There is a strip mall right about where this man was trying to cross along with a Bank of Montreal and a strip mall closer to Parkdale with a Little Caesars in it. I suspect that people often cross here instead of Parkdale or Reid to get to these strip malls and the bank.

To make matters worse, drivers often gun it between Parkdale and the RHVP if they have a green at Reid. Even the B-Line bus often bullets across from Parkdale all the way until about Potruff Road.

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By I<3Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 16:07:19

Hamilton could use pedestrian-activated yellow crosswalks. I haven't seen a single one since I've been living in this city.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 17:04:42 in reply to Comment 70908

I don't think any of those "yellow" crosswalks exist in the city, they will either put in a full pedestrian activated intersection (see Fennell and east...15th...16th maybe? for example) or they will put up a sign prohibiting people from crossing altogether (see several downtown Hamilton intersections).

I don't know if those "Yellow" sidewalks are encouraged anymore, there used to be several around York University in Toronto, but they were all removed.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 28, 2011 at 10:37:02 in reply to Comment 70911

Yup. There are several full-out pedestrian-activated stop-lights in the city. Not nearly enough, imho. What bothers me is they almost invariably appear when a private business has need for them. Dofasco has one to connect their main office to their parking lot. MIP has one for the same reasons.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 18:30:16 in reply to Comment 70911

Yeah.. I think those yellow flashing cross walks can be pretty dangerous. I think the problem is that as soon as those yellow lights start flashing, many pedestrians assume it's safe to cross and that cars are going to stop.

I remember when I was a child, my Dad was driving and almost hit someone at one of those types of crosswalks. It would have been my Dad's fault, he didn't see the yellow lights.. I'm not excusing him.. just saying they can be dangerous.

If you're going to stop traffic for a pedestrian, you might as well make it a red/green light. It would be cool if "they" could design the crosswalks so when the person gets to the other side, they could hit the button again and then the light could turn from red to green as soon as the person is across. That way, when a younger person crosses, drivers aren't stopped unnecessarily longer than they need to be. The only danger I could see to this is if some malicious person crossed and pressed the button to turn green while an old lady was still making her way slowly across the crosswalk.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 31, 2011 at 14:57:22 in reply to Comment 70914

A simpler approach: make a them work like a standard pedestrian stoplight crossing, but use a flashing red instead of a solid red.

Flashing red means "stop sign", which gives the pedestrian the right of way (unlike a flashing yellow crosswalk). That's what we really need - a pedestrian-activated stop-sign.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 31, 2011 at 17:40:13 in reply to Comment 70961

That's a good idea. Maybe the light could be green when there are no pedestrians and then change to flashing red, as you suggest, when there a pedestrian.
That way, if there is a green light ahead of the pedestrian being there, drivers can see the light ahead of time and anticipate that they might need to stop if the light changes. If there is no light up ahead, drivers aren't expecting or planning for a potential stop ahead.

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By don't stop and wave its not safe (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 17:56:28

Sounds like the 25 year old was in the left lane and some speeder came wizzing to his right thus the guy wave the old guy directly into the Honda

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 18:23:26

when the following comment was made, I contemplated saying something, but didn't. This collision is a perfect example of how dangerous it is to stop and wave on pedestrians.

Ten minutes ago a car stopped to let a small group of elderly women, laden with groceries, cross. The driver of a truck behind the stopped car immediately laid on his horn and he and his passenger began swearing, yelling curses at the driver of the car.

Perhaps now the OP of the above will be more understanding as to why the person was so mad. The OP thought the person was a jerk. Perhaps the person yelling is actually looking out for the best interest of those around him and got angry because something so dangerous was happening in front of him.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 27, 2011 at 13:14:44 in reply to Comment 70913

I'm with spacemonkey here. You don't get to re-write the rules of the road for the sake of courtesy. It might give you a warm and fuzzy feeling, but unlike transport trucks and emergency vehicles our cars don't have loudspeakers or CB radios. There's no way for anybody else to know what you're trying to do, and it adds a really dangerous element of unpredictability to the road.

I'm not saying those who cruise on by without paying any attention to those around them are without fault. I certainly don't have a lot of patience for those who lean on the horn because somebody in front of them is stopped for a pedestrian. But for gawd sakes, check your mirrors before trying something like this. In general, I'm far more annoyed and threatened by people who act this way than those who (safely) speed by and get out of my way.

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By Kidding (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 18:47:50

> Perhaps the person yelling is actually looking out for the best interest of those around him and got angry because something so dangerous was happening in front of him.

Ha ha ha! (You're kidding, right?)

The issue is not the actions of an individual driver, the issue is why we tolerate a system that reliably generates hundreds of injuries and numerous fatalities every year.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted October 30, 2011 at 10:48:16

I am not sure I agree with the above statements that it is unsafe to wave pedestrians by. We make these split second decisions mostly for the sake of safety. At the Westdale bottleneck (Bond St. N), it is safe to courteously wave pedestrians across, when they are waiting to cross at the painted cross walk. Perhaps I am wrong to do that, but it is not unsafe. Queenston is a different story. Sometimes people begin crossing (J walking) and you have to decide whether it is safer to speed past, or slow and allow them to pass in front. Sometimes not waving them may result in them hovering precariously on a thin yellow line with traffic zooming on both sides. It is a no-win situation for the motorist on some occasions. Nevertheless, the passing curb lane driver should be passing with caution, given that a car is stopping for no apparent reason.

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