A woman is dead and a man is being treated for his injuries after the two were struck Monday night in an auto-pedestrian crash in Mangilao.
The first traffic fatality of the year has put a spotlight on pedestrian safety.
Just before 8 pm Monday night, two individuals were walking from the Mobil gas station towards Mangilao Plaza when they were struck by a gray sedan, according to Guam Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao.
PNC was on the scene last night as the gray sedan, a Lexus with front windshield damage, was being processed by crash investigators. On the roadway, a wallet, drinks, food, and slippers were strewn across the pavement — all that was left from the tragic incident.
“As a result of the crash, the 57-year-old female pedestrian was transported to Naval Hospital Guam where she was later pronounced deceased by attending physicians there at Naval Hospital Guam. The 59-year-old male was transported to Guam Memorial Hospital for treatment and care and he is still being treated at GMH at this time,” Tapao said.
The case remains open as investigators work to determine whether speed, alcohol or drugs were factors.
The area where the crash occurred is heavily traversed by pedestrians and this is not the first time a pedestrian has been fatally struck in the area as there is a need for crosswalks and proper lighting which Tapao says are major factors in road safety.
Tapao said many factors come into consideration but among the most important are sidewalks, crosswalks, and of course lighting or illumination of the area.
Mangilao Mayor Allan Ungacta says he has been advocating to have additional crosswalks and lighting to be installed in the area where he says speeding motorists are common.
“I was told by the administration that they are working on it and they are looking into my request. It’s been over three years. You know I call it my anniversary because every year, on February, I submit my request for that traffic light and crosswalk to be erected in front of Pay-Less. When I was in last talks with them, the cost was about anywhere between 350 to 400 thousand dollars. But the way I look at it, there is no price tag for life,” the mayor said.
He further shares that the only crosswalk in that area is at the intersection leading into the University of Guam.
“So, of course, people think it’s just the norm to just cross and that’s why we want to educate them that there is a crosswalk for a reason and we have to try to use it,” the mayor added.