It’s Spring Break and the beaches are packed with people on foot and in cars – potentially a deadly mix. Residents along Gulf Blvd. say cars speed and drivers don't pay attention to pedestrians walk signals, which are there to let someone walking get across the busy corridor safely. The locals want more safety measures for pedestrians put in place. They say there have been a lot more near misses and lots of screeching tire sounds.
Two tragic pedestrian accidents from last weekend have undoubtedly left both families wondering how this could happen.
On Saturday, a 17 year-old boy was killed crossing Gulf Blvd. in St. Petersburg Beach. He was on his way to meet up with friends at a popular restaurant. According to the news, Patrick McClean was hit by two vehicles going in opposite directions, as he crossed the road. It is not yet clear, but deputies say they suspect alcohol may have been a factor in the crash as both drivers reportedly showed signs of being impaired.
In another incident on Sunday evening, we imagine Indiana resident, Jed Gettinger, was in town enjoying beautiful weather and some relief from the harsh winter back north. Now, he is in the hospital with very serious injuries he suffered when he was struck by a car. The 30 year old man was hit in a pedestrian crosswalk on Gulf Blvd. at 171st Avenue near the Ram Sea Condominiums, in North Redington Beach. This is a tragedy and particularly troubling because reports say Gettinger, was crossing where he was supposed to – within a crosswalk, with yellow pedestrian lights flashing and clearly, had the right of way - when he was hit in the curb lane by a car driven by Stanley Klimek, 69, of St. Petersburg.
Deputies at the scene said he suffered serious head injuries and was taken by ambulance to Bayfront Medical Center, in St. Petersburg.
The crash is still being investigated. At this time, according to the Sheriff’s report, there is no indication that either speed or impairment was a factor in the crash.
UPDATE: Sadly, the morning news reported Jed Gettinger, of Indiana, “has died from injuries he sustained.” We offer our sincere sympathy to his family and friends.