Pedestrians and cyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users. Even a slight impact by a car or another vehicle can prove deadly to them as was illustrated in a recent tragic accident in Richland County which claimed the life of a jogger.
The Newspaper The State reported on how Darius Brown, 20, of Hartsville, was jogging on a two-lane road on October 12, when he was the victim of a "deadly chain of events" after he was struck by the protruding mirror of a passing vehicle off Farrow Road about two miles east of I-77.
The newspaper quoted Richland County coroner Gary Watts who spoke about the jogger's death the next day.
"The outside mirror of one vehicle ... knocked him into the path of another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction," Watts said.
The jogger was visiting family in the Columbia area when he went out for a run, according to Watts. An autopsy, conducted on October 13, found he died of injuries sustained in the collision.
Brown was taken to Palmetto Richland, where he died of his injuries, according to Watts. His injuries made it difficult to tell whether the blow from the mirror proved fatal or his death was caused by the impact from the second car, the coroner said. S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the fatal accident.
Our thoughts are with the family of the man who died. Drivers have a responsibility to look out for joggers and other people on the highway and to give them a wide berth.
Watts pointed out that people jogging or walking on the road also need to be aware of the dangers of traffic. They should walk or run facing traffic and wear reflective clothing. Additionally, pedestrians need to be aware that objects can stick out of passing cars.
South Carolina law requires pedestrians to abide by certain rules on highways.
SECTION 56 5 3160. Pedestrians on highways.
(a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.
(b) Where a sidewalk is not available any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.
(c) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Drivers should also exercise caution when pedestrians are on the road. Clemson University provides a useful set of guidelines to drivers to help protect pedestrians on its website.
The guidelines state that drivers should slow down when they see pedestrians and never text or email when they are driving.
If you have been injured walking or running on a road or a crosswalk you may have grounds for a claim against the driver's insurance policy and should consider contacting a Columbia personal injury attorney