Greater City Providence

Pedestrian struck, killed on North Main Street

[alert type=”warning”]WPRI video link gone due to their site being updated[/alert]

walkinpvd-iconAccording to, 23-year-old George Adams, IV was killed last Thursday when he was struck by a car while walking with a friend on North Main Street near Benefit Street. The WPRI report does not say whether sidewalk conditions forced the victim and his friend to walk in the road or not.

“It was like they were walking and talking, holding hands,” said George’s father, George Adams III, on Monday. Mounds of unshoveled ice had forced them off the sidewalk. “And all of a sudden, he got ripped from her hand. He was gone that fast.” He later died at the hospital.

An eyewitness who saw the car drive away ended up chasing after the car. The driver never hit her brakes, the eyewitness said — and later tried to ditch the vehicle and take off on foot.

Police eventually tracked down the woman they believe was the driver, Haley Mckee, 31, in Lincoln. Her charges include leaving the scene of an accident-death resulting, reckless driving — and driving with a suspended license.

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  • I drive through there somewhat frequently, but haven’t noticed the sidewalk conditions. There are rarely pedestrians over there because there’s not much to walk to right there.

    Regardless, it’s a shame. I do know that for some reason, many people feel like it’s ok to walk in the street rather than the sidewalk no matter what the sidewalk conditions are like. Runners do this all the time, which is technically against the law.

  • I don’t think it really is technically against the law to run in the street as long as you are not jaywalking.

    The article also does state now (They seem to have updated with more info from the bereaved family) that they were forced in the road by mounds of ice. I can’t watch the video from work, does it show precisely where they were hit?

  • I watched the video last night, Walt Buteau said it occurred just downhill from the Benefit and North Main intersection, maybe 50 yards.

  • § 31-18-10 Walking in street prohibited.

    § 31-18-10 Walking in street prohibited. – Where sidewalks are provided it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where sidewalks are provided it shall be lawful for a person to run or jog along and upon an adjacent roadway, and if the person shall begin to walk he or she shall walk upon an available sidewalk.
    History of Section.
    (P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 29, § 6; G.L. 1956, § 31-18-10; P.L. 1984, ch. 298, § 1.)

    I would argue that “mounds of unshoveled ice” equates to a sidewalk not being provided.

  • Also:

    § 31-18-8 Due care by drivers.

    § 31-18-8 Due care by drivers. – Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter or the provisions of any local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle upon any roadway, shall give an audible signal when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, intoxicated, or incapacitated person. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.
    History of Section.
    (P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 29, § 4; G.L. 1956, § 31-18-8; P.L. 1976, ch. 58, § 5; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 113.)

    So walking in the street may be prohibited, but drivers are still bound to exercise caution.

  • Drivers are always bound to exercise caution. I just wish people would avoid walking or running in the street wearing all dark colors (happens pretty frequently, even when there is no snow/ice).

    If the sidewalk is covered in snow/ice, then the pedestrian has no choice. In this case, the city should not only arrest the driver, but also automatically fine the property owner(s) who failed to properly clear the sidewalks near where the accident occurred.

  • They would probably have to fine themselves…i assume the mound of ice was a result of city plowing. That intersection sucks for everyone with the weird way benefit just ends in the weird merge

  • Clay Luxmoore says that his neighbor’s 13-year old daughter was hit yesterday and left in the street. If you need it.

  • ProJo has details about Mr. Adams’ funeral. Also this:

    That afternoon, [Haley] McKee was arraigned at 6th District Court for leaving the scene of an accident, death resulting, driving with a suspended license, and reckless driving. Her license had been suspended since last August for failing to pay a ticket, according to the state Division of Motor Vehicle’s Operator Control.

    McKee was also cited for refusing a chemical test and six other traffic violations.

  • With all due respect, it’s not true that there are rarely pedestrians over there or that there is little to walk to. I walk that route nearly every weekday to get from the East Side to the Amtrak station, as do many other people who take the commuter rail (or walk down to the mall, or walk up to the shopping center on N. Main). I have been forced off the sidewalk by snowdrifts and ice many times on that route, both on N. Main and on the Smith St. bridge between Canal and Gaspee (and have submitted snow-clearance complaints to the city with no apparent results). I walked by an accident reconstruction cop on N. Main last week and wondered what had happened, then was horrified to walk by the candles and candy boxes signifying a traffic death when I went that way again this morning. The driver was clearly at fault, but the city, state, and private owners of uncleared sidewalks need to wake up and take some responsibility.

  • What we need is for the family to retain the most aggressive loudmouth lawyer in the state to sue the property owner who was supposed to have cleared that sidewalk.

    In the 1990s a baby was killed and her grandmother maimed at Doyle and North Main. I was the bystander interviewed on TV who pointed out the sidewalk and crosswalks covered by piles of snow.

    Maybe 7-figure legal fireworks involving a bigshot landlord and insurance company will better command the attention of inconsiderate jerks than a dead baby and all the other horrors since.

  • I never meant that it’s less a crime because there aren’t as many pedestrians there than there are other places. It was just something I’ve noticed in my travels through there. It’s still no excuse for not shoveling, and I agree with Andrew that the only way to get the city to wake up and enforce its laws is for people to make a huge stink about it.

  • North Main gives short shrift to pedestrians anyhow. It’s a wide roadway and the crossing zones are too dangerous, especially over near Doyle.

    But if they were forced to walk in the street due to ice/snow I say sue the every loving hell out of the property owner. And while they’re at it, sue the city for FAILING to enforce it’s own statutes.

  • Definitely, of course it’s a crime whether there are a lot of pedestrians on a particular street or not. But this case really gets to me because this is a major street, one that gets significant car, bike, *and* pedestrian traffic. Countless city workers, officials, and police drive up and down North Main and Smith Street every winter day, swerving to avoid the pedestrians who have been forced off impassable sidewalks, and don’t do a thing about it. On the east side of North Main, the sidewalk between Benefit St. and that giant apartment complex near the bottom of the hill has not been cleared of snow and ice for this entire winter — although mysteriously the small parking lot along this stretch has been plowed. I personally have faced down numerous speeding drivers as they come roaring up the hill and pass me as closely as possible while I pick my way down the street. And I have actually said out loud: “Someone’s going to get killed down here one of these days.”

  • “And while they’re at it, sue the city for FAILING to enforce it’s own statutes.”

    This is what I think as well- the only way to get any forward motion on this issue is to get the city to pay attention, and enforce the damn law. Nothing gets attention like a 7+ figure lawsuit.

  • The Benefit/Olney/North Main St intersection is horrendous. People heading northbound on North Main taking a right onto Olney fly around the corner and NEVER yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk there. Also, whoever plowed the roadway here left a huge mound of snow blocking the left northbound travel lane, forcing everyone to merge right.

    I use this route to get to the train station when I have to work in Boston and it’s packed with pedestrians and a lot of Hope High students who walk down to North Main to get on the 99 bus.

    I walked this a few weeks ago and North Main was pretty clear of snow but Charles Street and Smith Street (along the river and over the tracks) were NOT. If any place should have clear sidewalks, it should be those roads leading to the State House and the train station. This is a no-brainer. I complained online too but haven’t noticed a change.

  • The death of George Adams is a horrific needless tragedy.

    It’s not just un-shoveled sidewalks or a weird intersection at North Main and Benefit that caused it. The route cause is an absolute blind acceptance of car culture that has pervaded deep in the psyche of Rhode Islanders for the last 50 years or so. This acceptance has much to do with wealth and class whether real or perceived and convenience.

    It’s inconvenient to shovel or pay to have sidewalks shoveled, but not parking lots and driveways. Why do we repeatedly hear of people driving with suspended drivers licenses? Partly because we’ve created a built environment, especially out of the city, that has made it inconvenient if not impossible to travel by any other means accept driving.

    Whether conscience or not the old belief that poor people walk and kids ride bicycles remains stuck in the back of the minds of driver’s no matter how enlightened they might think they are. For those that drive, have you ever felt impatient waiting for a pedestrian to walk across an intersection when you’re making a turn or felt annoyed with a bicyclist who’s moving slowly at the side of the road that’s difficult to avoid? Is it because you have to get somewhere faster or is it because you own a car and more important or perhaps a little of both?

    There is no reason why the intersection of Doyle and North Main should be so dangerous that a baby gets killed, unless the priority is vehicular movement over people walking. Following the 1973 oil crisis right turns on red were legalized. Rhode Islanders were thrilled because it was convenient and thought to be cool having been imported from west coast car culture.

    This week traffic engineers recommended narrowing Atwells Avenue’s lanes from 14′ to 11′ or 12′ wide. Why not 10′? A tractor-trailer is 8′ wide. Would a 10′ wide lane be dangerous for cars and trucks on Atwells Avenue or just inconvenient? If the section of North Main, where George Adams was killed, had narrower lanes or fewer lanes maybe his death could have been avoided.

    Providence has been hijacked by car culture since the mid-20th Century. The resulting losses have been great from economic to poor land use to lost transit options to diminished quality of life for pedestrians. George Adams’ death should become a symbol and serve as a catalyst to challenge and change the current transportation status quo in Providence.

  • I run this route at lunchtime – up N. Main to Olney – and I can attest to the fact that there are mounds of ice heaved up by plowed driveways and the road. Until today (it’s rain-melting) there was no passage at the last house / condo driveway on the right before Benefit, incidentally, right at the spot where George was hit. Olney is awful too – a sheet of nubbed ice on the sidewalk.

    But ya know, all that said, if you walk at night, you have to be wary – especially when the bars close. I wear lights when running or cycling after 6. I don’t care if I look like a freak. I don’t trust the cars.

  • “But ya know, all that said, if you walk at night, you have to be wary – ”
    True, but why even mention it?

    Get this straight: The party who failed to remove the snow and the Driver are 100% to blame, jointly and severally.

    Zero percent of blame belongs to George Adams, no matter what he saw fit to wear.

  • The driver should have gotten a harsher sentence. Driving drunk, killing someone, and trying to run from it are despicable actions. I feel sorry for the victim’s family. It’s so sad to see losers like this take an innocent person’s life so callously.