Man in wheelchair struck and killed

Posted: March 19, 2009 09:23 PM CDT JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – A man in a wheelchair is fatally hit while traveling down the road. Jackson police say the driver of a Chevrolet Impala was attempting to cross the median on Medgar Evers Boulevard, when she rear ended a Chevrolet Tahoe. The SUV then struck and killed an unidentified man who was riding in his wheelchair on the side of the road because there are no sidewalks.

A spokeswoman for the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities says Thursday’s tragedy was an accident waiting to happen. “We’ve got to have accessible, safe reliable transportation and part of that to the community are safe sidewalks too,” Mary Troupe said. Mary Troupe says for the past two decades she’s begged the city to create additional sidewalks and more handicap-accessible public transportation. “It’s frustrating because we’re talking about over 18 years here that we’ve been talking about this and it’s always been put on the back burner,” Troupe said.

Councilman Frank Bluntson, who’s ward covers where the accident occurred, says he will request that some of the stimulus money Mississippi is set to receive will go towards creating more walkways. “This accident might be able to create some avenues to where we can get additional money for sidewalks for people who are in wheelchairs,” Frank Bluntson said. Until then, Dorothy Lee, who drives a school bus down Medgar Evers, says she will miss seeing the man who traveled down the boulevard each day. “He’s a nice man, he speaks and everything. He usually watches the traffic when he comes across the street. He’d be to the side of the street but everybody see him, he’s really a nice person,” Dorothy Lee said.

So far, no charges have been filed against either driver. The coalition is currently suing the city to get better public transportation for the disabled.