Video captures pedestrian being hit on State of Franklin

Becky Campbell • Apr 26, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Video from a downtown business recorded a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle last week, but no charges have been filed.

The victim, 23-year-old Rachel Witt, said her attorney advised her not to speak to anyone about the crash. Witt was crossing State of Franklin Road at Spring Street when she was hit about 8:45 p.m. April 18.

The video, from a surveillance camera at East Tennessee Computers, shows Witt in the pedestrian crosswalk and a car sitting at the stop sign waiting to pull from Spring Street onto State of Franklin.

On the video, as Witt entered the lane closest to the sidewalk, a vehicle traveling west on State of Franklin hit her.

The driver, Tracy Yohey, 48, of Johnson City, told police she swerved to avoid hitting the car that was pulling out from Spring Street.

Johnson City Police Lt. Larry Williams said that drivers need to be more attentive to crosswalks and pedestrians who might be crossing the road.

Bob Wakely, who owns East Tennessee Computers where the surveillance camera was located, said he sees pedestrians nearly hit every day because traffic on State of Franklin does not stop for them.

“Literally every day,” Wakely said about watching pedestrians dodging cars while crossing the street. “They have to stop in the middle of the street,” to avoid getting hit, he said.

Williams said pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk and motorists are required to stop for them.

In the downtown area, drivers should be especially aware of pedestrians, he said.

Williams said there aren’t many pedestrians hit in the area where Witt crossed the road, but one of those who was hit in 2007 died as a result.

David Hudson was crossing the road from the parking lot across the street and was hit near the area where Witt crossed. Hudson died from his injuries.

Williams said Witt was “very lucky” she wasn’t killed.

According to a JCPD crash report, Witt was transported to the hospital by ambulance for a “possible injury.”

Williams also said he knows of no action being taken to make pedestrian crosswalks safer, but urged any pedestrian to be vigilant when crossing the streets in Johnson City.


Still image from video contributed by Bob Wakley

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