Lawton, OK (KSWO) - A man struck by a vehicle last night while crossing Sheridan Road in Lawton has died from his injuries. His death is the third incident where a pedestrian was killed by a car in recent weeks.
Lawton police say 28-year-old Stephen French was crossing SW Sheridan Road at the C Avenue intersection around 6 last night when he was hit. Police say the driver is cooperating with the investigation, but they don't know yet if she will be ticketed or charged. They're also interviewing several people who witnessed the crash.
The incident is raising concerns about the area where French was hit.
Several people who work in the area said they came outside as soon as they heard sirens and heard people shouting outside. They said while they know drivers and pedestrians should both be paying attention, they feel the street lights in this area are too dim and make it difficult to see anyone walking down the road or crossing the street.
"There were cops all along the road, they blocked off all around here, and that business to all the way down the road." There was cops and ambulances everywhere and a couple of fire trucks", said Smith.
Melanie Russell works at a Pharmacy on Sheridan close to where Stephen French was hit. She said it's hard to see, especially at night.
"The street lights just aren't very bright. It was hard for us to see what was even going on standing outside last night even with all the cop cars and ambulances. The streets out here are so dark and there is lots people that walk at night and during the day", said Russell
In the last 2 weeks 3 people have died after getting hit by a car...and while visibility plays a role Sergeant Tim Jenkins with the Lawton Police Department says paying attention to what's in front of you is key.
"Whether it is talking on the phone, texting on the phone, or messing with the radio. They are doing something in the car besides focusing on driving and we cant stress that enough if you are driving so when you are driving that your main concern is on the road", said Jenkins.
Pedestrians should also pay attention, but there other things that people who are walking should do.
"If you are going to cross the street, use the crosswalk, use intersections. If you do go out at night don't wear dark clothing and make sure you are visible enough to where cars can see you", said Jenkins.
As police continue their investigation, it's unclear whether French or the driver had the right of way.
Jenkins says officers will strictly enforce the laws for inattentive drivers, including those caught texting and driving, and not paying attention.
If you are walking across the street using a cross walk or at an intersection be sure to look both ways before crossing and If you are caught j-walking you will be fined 175 dollars.