CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities are investigating after a pedestrian in a wheelchair was struck as they attempted to cross the street in downtown Charleston.
The deadly crash happened shortly after 6:30 p.m. on East Bay and South Street in what police said is a “dark section of the roadway without a marked crosswalk.”
The victim was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where they died.
Officials with CPD said the driver – who showed no signs of impairment – remained on the scene and cooperated with investigators.
East Bay Street was closed in both directions for hours. Police reopened the road just after 10:00 p.m.
The crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office later identified the victim as 58-year-old Karen Simmons of Charleston.
“It’s a little bit dark there at night, so probably some street lighting could be really helpful in that location. There’s not a crosswalk there either to get across East Bay,” said Katie Zimmerman, the Executive Director of Charleston Moves.
“I have personally seen some very close calls with students and families in this area. Literally across the street,” said Sakran during an interview with News 2 near Grove and King Streets.
During the meeting on Tuesday, the councilman recommended bulb-outs and flashing lights at the following four intersections.
-Rutledge Avenue and Moultrie Street
-Grove and King Streets
-Rutledge Avenue and Simons Street
-King and Moultrie Streets
Bulb-outs, also known as curb extensions, reduce the length pedestrians must walk to cross the street. Zimmerman explained they can be made of concrete or simply painted onto the street.
“When you create these bulb-outs, you’re basically reducing the intersection for traffic and for pedestrians and shortening that length from one curb to the other. What that does visually, as the driver, as you’re driving into that intersection, you actually start to slow down,” Sakran explained.
He said the next step is to work with state and county leaders to discuss how to fund the project.