Last night was a bad night to be out and walking around in Phoenix. In the span of less than 12 hours, police responded to three separate collisions in which a pedestrian was hit by a car. Two of the victims died, and one is currently in critical condition.
According to the Phoenix Police Department:
• An 80-year-old man was hit by a car while crossing North 43rd Avenue just south of Indian School Road, where there is no crosswalk, at around 7 p.m. He died after being taken to the hospital. The driver is suspected to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• A woman was hit by a car near the intersection of East Washington Street and and North 44th Street a little after midnight. She was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. Police said that she'd been walking in the road, and that so far there's no evidence to suggest that the driver was impaired or speeding at the time of the accident.
• A woman crossing Thomas Road near North 36th Street was hit by a car at approximately 5 this morning. She was "in or near the crosswalk" when she was hit, police said, and died in the hospital shortly afterward. The driver, who does not appear to have been under the influence, attempted to leave the scene but was detained by police.
The names of the individuals involved in the three collisions have not yet been released.
A report issued last week by the national Governor's Highway Safety Association found that Arizona has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the country. That dubious honor is based on statistics from the first six months of 2017, when there were 1.61 deaths for every 100,000 people in the state. The national death toll for pedestrians was roughly half that, averaging out to .81 deaths per 100,000 people.
According to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety, 224 pedestrians died after being hit by cars last year.