Fatal pedestrian crashes increase in East Texas, officials urge drivers to be cautious due to holiday season


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Over the past week alone, there have been around four fatal pedestrian wrecks three of which occurred in Nacogdoches and one in Lufkin.

With holiday shopping in full gear across East Texas, stores and parking lots have become busy.

“More often than not, it’s usually the driver’s inattention or being distracted,” shared Sheriff JohnWayne Valdez with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.

Experts have been working to bring the number of fatal pedestrian wrecks down, but things may only get worse as Christmas approaches.

“It’s quite packed and traffic gets really bad and so we know there’s going to a be a lot of people out shopping, people going out to eat and just celebrating the Christmas season,” said Andy Erbaugh with the Tyler Police Department.

These types of deaths seem to happen when people are not paying attention to the road in front of them.

“We always see this time of year a lot of accidents, especially at the big intersections,” Erbaugh explained. “The traffic is already bad, but you can make it even worse if you hurt or kill someone that you love that you just don’t know. It’s not worth it.”

Law enforcement has urged drivers to take their time. Extra time could be the difference between life and death.

“Try leaving 45 minutes early and give yourself a 15-minute buffer,” Valdez said. “That will help tremendously. That’s something a lot of us either don’t have time to do or don’t think about but maybe it’s something they all should think about.”

Experts added that drivers should always be on the lookout, especially when traveling out of town.

“We want everybody to stay safe to enjoy themselves but do it responsibly,” said Erbaugh.

The two best things we can do to keep our community safe from fatal pedestrian accidents are following the rules and focusing on the road.

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