VICTORIA, TX (07/20/2016) — Katie Parker was severely injured, and her dog was killed, after the pair was struck while using a crosswalk Wednesday morning.
According to authorities, 24-year-old Katie Parker sustained serious injuries following an auto-pedestrian accident that occurred on the Lone Tree Hike and Bike Trail crosswalk near the intersection of John Stockbauer Drive and Timberlane Drive in Victoria, Texas.
Detective Tanya Brown, spokeswoman for the Victoria Police Department, stated that at around 10:15 a.m., Parker was crossing the street in the crosswalk with her 4-year-old Great Dane, Riley, when she was struck by 19-year-old Michael DeLaGarza Jr.
DeLaGarza was traveling northbound in a 2008 Ford Mustang when he noticed that a vehicle stopped at the crosswalk (the driver was allowing Parker and Riley to cross); however, DeLaGarza pulled around the vehicle and collided with the Parker and her dog.
Officials reported that Parker was transported to Citizens Medical Center, and later transferred to the San Antonio Military Medical Center. She is being treated for a fractured skull and broken bones. Riley, the dog, was killed in the accident.
Police issued DeLaGarza a citation for failing to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
“All of our sympathies are with the victim,” said the driver’s father, 38-year-old Michael DeLaGarza Sr. “We hope she is OK and makes a full recovery.”
This, unfortunately, is not the first auto-pedestrian accident to occur at this particular crosswalk. An 11-year-old was struck while crossing in 2009, and a 15-year-old was also struck in 2015. Some safety improvements were made in recent years (rumble strips, better signs, reflective markings), but as this event shows, there may still be room for improvement.
More-importantly, it is every driver’s responsibility to yield to pedestrians (even when not in a marked crosswalk). You should NEVER attempt to pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, and drivers should always take caution when passing a stopped vehicle anywhere on the roadway, as there is often a very good reason why the driver came to a stop.
We offer our condolences, and hope for a speedy recovery.