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Teenage Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver

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According to the North Coast Journal, a teenage girl died after being hit by a car while walking in McKinleyville, California, on Wednesday night.

Details of Fatal Pedestrian Wreck

The teenager was walking north on the east side of Central Avenue, near Anna Sparks Way, when the fatal crash happened. A motorist turned onto Central Avenue and drifted off the roadway, striking the pedestrian girl and crashing into a light pole at around 8:07 p.m. local time.

The North Coast Journal reports that the motorist, identified as James Arthur Merrick, attempted to flee the scene of the accident. Witnesses to the fatal crash were able to detain Merrick before police arrived. The girl was transported to Mad River Hospital where she would be pronounced dead.

Merrick was placed under arrest, reports The North Coast Journal, and officials believe alcohol to be factor in the crash. The California Highway Patrol is conducting the accident investigation.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  • In 2014, 4,884 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes.
    • Pedestrian deaths accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
  • In 2014, 90 percent of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes involved a single vehicle.
  • Alcohol involvement – for the driver and/or the pedestrian – was reported in 48 percent of all fatal pedestrian crashes in 2014.
  • Eighteen percent of crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involved a hit-and-run driver in 2014.

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