A 13-year-old Copperas Cove girl’s death Saturday marked the third pedestrian-vehicle fatality in the Greater Killeen area in 11 days and the second of the new year.
Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke pronounced Alyssa Martinez dead at 10:47 p.m. Saturday at Metroplex Hospital.
Martinez was taken to the hospital after a Ford F150 struck her while she was trying to cross Farm-to-Market 1113 just outside Copperas Cove, said Harpin Myers, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman.
The accident occurred about 8:40 p.m., Myers said. According to the investigation, Alyssa failed to give the right-of-way to the driver of the F150 and crossed into his lane on foot while the driver was heading west.
The incident occurred a little more than an hour after a Killeen man, Michael Miguel Thomas, 45, was struck and killed in the 1100 block of Fort Hood Street.
According to a news release from Killeen police, Thomas was standing in the center turn lane wearing dark-colored clothes when a Honda Accord traveling north in the inside lane attempted to turn left into the center lane and struck him.
Cooke pronounced Thomas dead at the scene at 7:43 p.m. Saturday.
Eight fatal pedestrian vs. vehicle incidents occurred in Bell County in 2013, including one on Christmas Day, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. None were recorded in Coryell and Lampasas counties in 2013.
Just five days into the new year, Coryell and Bell counties each have one.
Residents should work to prevent these types of incidents, said Carroll Smith, a Killeen Police Department spokeswoman. Drivers and pedestrians should pay attention when traveling through the city.
“You need to walk toward traffic so you can see what is coming at you,” Smith said. “Keep your focus on what is ahead of you. It is not always a good idea to be walking while talking on the phone or texting. You should keep all your faculties about you.”
Don’t walk in the streets and especially don’t do so while drunk or on drugs, she said. Pedestrians should use crosswalks and walk in well-lit areas.
“There is a reason they have crosswalks,” Smith said. “There is a reason there are signals, because it allows you to cross safely, and you should never cross the highway. It is illegal.”
Walkers and joggers also should walk against traffic so they can see what is coming at them and wear bright colored clothes so they are more noticeable, she said.