MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One person has died after being struck by a car on American Way Thursday night.
Just before 11:30 p.m., police responded to a fatal hit-and-run in front of 4273 American Way near Cherry Road.
The male victim was killed on impact, police say.
According to police, the driver fled the scene in a black pickup truck going eastbound on American Way.
This is an ongoing investigation.
His death marks the 62nd pedestrian to be killed on Memphis roadways, which is an increase from this same time last year when the city had 52 fatalities.
Karla Lipford is the Regional Law Enforcement Liaison for Tennessee Highway Safety Office. She spends most of her days tracking roadway fatalities and does not like what she has been seeing.
“These numbers are real and people are losing their lives,” Lipford said. “Here in Shelby County, we see that it’s a problem. We have an increase of our pedestrian crashes and fatalities.”
Data from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office show there have been 146 crashes involving pedestrians in Shelby County, and of that number 71 resulted in a person dying.
Officials believe speeding and distracted driving are big reasons for the increase.
“You have more people on their cellphones, while people are walking. The drivers are not being attentive,” Lipford said.
As this investigation continues, Lipford says it will take everyone to reduce pedestrian accidents.
“Everybody has to play a part, the drivers have to play a party when they are on the roadway to make sure they are looking out for pedestrians,” Lipford said. “Our pedestrians, they have to be aware too, and know they have to use crosswalks.”
Recently, THSO started offering grants to local departments aimed at curbing fatalities on roadways through promoting literacy.
If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.