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Lockwood teen dies in pedestrian accident

Pedestrian-versus-vehicle car accidents tend to end tragically for the unprotected victims. A recent collision in Lockwood is no exception. A 16-year-old boy was killed after he was struck by a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by a 71-year-old man at about 5:40 p.m. on Jan. 3 along Becraft Lane.

The accident happened along a road that is notorious for its dangers to pedestrians. Local residents who found the boy after the accident say they have petitioned local government authorities to add more streetlights and signals along the road, but their pleas have not been heard. Residents have requested a paved sidewalk along the road to prevent such accidents, but officials have not responded. They also claim that the 35-mph speed limit should be lowered to protect pedestrians.

The victim's friend was walking alongside him when the accident occurred, according to news reports. The pair was walking on a narrow, snow-packed shoulder when they were struck by the vehicle. The boys were walking with the flow of traffic on the eastbound side of the road.

Emergency service providers, county officials and local representatives say the road has become a point of contention in past years, with local residents expressing their concerns about the area's safety. The roads in Lockwood are generally used as major thoroughfares for both vehicles and pedestrians, though foot traffic has largely been ignored as the area has experienced population growth. People are forced to walk along narrow embankments and shoulders because few sidewalks exist, according to a news report.

The victim's family could consider suing the municipality for failing to provide a safe walking environment. That is especially true when considering the number of protests that have been recorded concerning the roadside safety in the area. The boy's relatives could seek compensation for wrongful death, pain and suffering and emotional distress, among other claims.

Source: Billings Gazette, "Lockwood teen dies from injuries suffered in pedestrian-vehicle collision," Carmen Irish, Jan. 5, 2013

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