What’s driving the spike in pedestrian fatalities in Greenville Co.

Three people have died in two days, all hit by cars at different intersections in Greenville County, and one of those was a hit and run.

First the facts:

23-year-old Christian Batton was hit Saturday March 4 by two cars. The second one left the scene, and that’s the one officers believed killed the man.

They’re looking for a white SUV that could have damage to the front undercarraige, wheels or tire.

The night before, 56-year-old Francisco Ortiz died when he was hit by a car on Easley Bridge Road at Kilgore Street.

And 40 minutes later, 58-year-old Bobbie Hudgens died when a car hit her on White Horse Road near Athelone Avenue.

Last year Greenville County was the scene of 17 pedestrian traffic fatalities, the highest in the state.

Worn paint, sidewalks without a buffer or no sidewalks at all; those are just some of the factors that can put walkers and bikers in danger.

And with more distracted drivers, the reality is, these types of fatal accidents are growing more common. For those who live to tell about it, the issue couldn’t be more critical.

“I think it’s sad and on the other hand I think it’s something we can do to explain there are things we can do as a community,” said Frank Mansbach when we asked him about the deaths this weekend.

Mansbach heads Bike Walk Greenville

Look here at his warning posted hours before those walkers died. It shows Greenville “ranks 31 out of the top 104 largest metropolitan areas” in an index called “Pedestrian Danger.”

On Buena Vista Avenue near Bob Jones Academy you can hear the sound of change. It’s the sound of roadwork.

And you can see a brand new sidewalk going in with a buffer of sod: More distance from the road. The city says that’s a “proven safety measure.”

“Our goal is to have a sidewalk on at least one side of the street on every street in the city of Greenville,” said Councilwoman Amy Ryberg Doyle.

She says the city doubled the funds for that project to a million this year, but she admits that road ahead, well you guessed it.

“There are about 20 intersections in the city of Greenville that we consider to be highly critical,” she said.

East North and Haywood is one of them. Mansbach says areas that don’t design for people, just cars, are seeing it all wrong. And to him.. That’s not just talk.

“I got hit. I got hit by a truck. Sitting in the hospital for a week, thinking, this is a good message, I need to do more about advocacy to make this place safer for people,” he said.

Mansbach had a punctured lung and broken shoulder. Now he has a stronger voice.

Greenville city leaders say it has a rule that all new development must have sidewalks with buffers.

The County does not.

But city leaders encourage anyone to work with neighbors to let their municipality know about dangerous road areas that need to be changed.

Prioritized Intersection Safety Study List

  1. Haywood & I-385
  2. Pleasantburg & Century/Villa
  3. Pleasantburg & Antrim
  4. Academy & Pendleton
  5. Pleasantburg & Mauldin
  6. Pleasantburg & Rutherford
  7. Haywood & Pelham
  8. Augusta & Mauldin
  9. Pleasantburg & Cleveland
  10. Woodruff & Verdae
  11. Church & Augusta
  12. Wade Hampton & Pleasantburg
  13. Faris & Cleveland
  14. Laurens & Woodruff
  15. Augusta & McDaniel (to Oregon)
  16. Pelham & Hudson
  17. Academy & College
  18. Stone & Rutherford
  19. Washington & Church
  20. Church & E. North
  21. McAlister & Faris
  22. Pleasantburg & Edwards
  23. E. North & Pelham (to Pleasantburg)
  24. Laurens & Verdae
  25. Academy & Main
  26. Academy & Buncombe
  27. Roper Mtn. & I-385/Frontage
  28. Laurens & Millennium
  29. Mills & Lynn/Guess

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