Driver Kills Pedestrian
| Jun 25, 2014 3:54 pm
The driver of a small red Honda struck and killed a 49-year-old man crossing the harrowing intersection of Ella Grasso Boulevard and Orange Avenue Tuesday night.
The incident occurred around 10 p.m.
Here’s what happened, according to police spokesman Officer David Hartman:
Frank Aceto, who was 49 years old, was crossing the road with a friend. They didn’t cross at a crosswalk.
“The friend stopped for traffic and apparently tried but failed in his attempt to get Aceto to stop. Aceto was struck by a small red Honda that fled the scene after the crash,” Hartman reported.
Police don’t know the name of the driver or the speed at which the car was traveling at the time. The driver was heading south on the Boulevard at the time.
The victim’s last known address was in Wallingford. Police went there and “couldn’t locate any one connected to him.” They believe he may have been homeless; the Columbus House homeless shelter is near the intersection.
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posted by: anonymous on June 25, 2014 2:45pm
Drivers and pedestrians keep dying on this road, in large numbers, and nobody ever does anything about it.
Where is Governor Malloy on this? The Boulevard is clearly unsafe and a threat to life and limb, for people of all ages. We need to learn from our mistakes.
posted by: Razzie on June 25, 2014 3:07pm
“Frank Aceto, who was 49 years old, was crossing the road with a friend. They didn’t cross at a crosswalk.”
It doesn’t appear that the road design or road maintenance was a factor in this accident. Nor does it appear that speed was a factor. Sadly, this unfortunate event was solely the fault of pedestrian error. I travel that road on a daily basis, without problems. If he had used the crosswalk and its pedestrian signal, this event would not have occurred.
posted by: Wooster Squared on June 25, 2014 3:37pm
Perhaps the pedestrian should have crossed the street at the crosswalk. But he made a mistake. People will make mistakes from time to time and we should design our roads so that mistakes aren’t fatal.
This is why we have guardrails and rumble strips on highways and why seatbelts and airbags are now standard. Rather than demanding that drivers and pedestrians never ever make mistakes, we should design roads such that mistakes don’t result is the loss of human life.
Also, unless you were there or are professionally qualified to do so, you probably shouldn’t be assigning blame in a traffic accident.
posted by: Nathan on June 25, 2014 4:55pm
Wooster Squared, these deaths are all tragedies. However, the majority of pedestrian deaths in New Haven have not involved criminal charges against the operators of the motor vehicles. Ever notice the initial story doesn’t have a follow-up mentioning criminal charges? Is that a professional enough determination? Good design/engineering of public transit is vital, but there are limits to the responsibility of drivers and government.
posted by: Wooster Squared on June 25, 2014 5:20pm
I don’t see how any reasonable person could be against designing roadways for improved safety, pedestrian or otherwise. That’s like being against peace or in favor of childhood obesity.
Plenty of other countries have dramatically reduced roadway fatalities through improved design, often at minimal cost.
For decades now in this country we have gone to great lengths to improve airline safety under the philosophy that the only acceptable number of deaths from air travel is zero. This means designing systems that account for human fallibility. The result has been greatly improved airline safety.
Taking the same approach to roadway design is a no-brainier. I just don’t see how anyone can keep a straight face and tell me that a roadway system that kills 30,000 Americans a year is well-designed. Although I’m sure someone out there has a witty comeback.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on June 25, 2014 5:21pm
@Nathan and @ Razzie—
The driver fled the scene!
Since when is a hit and run fatality not a crime? Of course it is, and chances are the driver was driving like an idiot or an a-hole, or likely both.
Here’s hoping the person behind the wheel does a year or two of jail time.
posted by: anonymous on June 25, 2014 5:45pm
Razzie, this isn’t about one crash, and it isn’t about using crosswalks (which often are legally there, even if they are not marked). Many drivers have died on this road too. Safety improvements, like lower speeds, would help everyone, not just pedestrians.
The Boulevard is very poorly designed for an urban environment, with many pedestrians and children using it each day, and it’s also clearly unsafe for driving on.
The bottom line is, no other city would design a road through an urban area in this way today. It’s time for ConnDOT to bring it up to the safety standards that every other city is using, before even more people are killed here.
Will Harp and her staff call up ConnDOT and ask them to change things here? Or will they continue to ignore the fact that multiple people are dying on a regular basis as a result of government inaction?
posted by: Nathan on June 25, 2014 7:30pm
Leaving the scene of the accident is a crime, however, that does not prove fault for the accident. There are some accidents that cannot be designed around, that is the sad truth.
posted by: newhavendependent on June 25, 2014 7:45pm
Just going to jump in here to land on the side of “This was likely pedestrian error”.
The article itself states that Aceto’s friend tried to warn him not to cross so it is highly likely that Aceto either wasn’t paying attention altogether or he saw the oncoming car and decided to chance it. Compound this with the fact that they were not crossing at a crosswalk at 10PM and there’s a high likelihood that they were crossing in a poorly lit area of the road.
You know how you solve this problem? CROSS AT THE CROSSWALK AND ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. I am very sorry for the tragic death of Mr. Aceto but we live in a city and you need to have your wits about you.
Yes, the driver fled the scene but it is still possible he didn’t realize he hit someone or that he was startled by Aceto stepping in front of the car and drove off. Of course either case is inexcusable but it does not automatically imply fault.
posted by: Razzie on June 26, 2014 9:40am
—Wooster Squared and Anon
We ;ive in an urban environment and it is incumbent upon us al to exercise reasonable care and to act responsibly in going about our daily affairs. We cannot engineer our roads to prevent all accidents, especially when citizens fail to exercise due care. Grasso Blvd is designed to handle traffic loads and is engineered for that purpose. It also contains certain pedestrian safety features appropriate for its design, among which are designated crosswalks, traffic signals, pedestrian walk buttons, etc. Unfortunately, Mr. Aceto disregarded those features and for whatever reason choose to walk into oncoming traffic. I can’t say the driver was speeding any more than I can say Mr. Aceto was drunk at the time. But that type of conjecture is irrelevant. The facts as reported tell me that Mr. Aceto’s negligence was more responsible for the accident than the roadway design.
posted by: Brewski on June 26, 2014 10:29am
I believe the speed limit is 25 mph on that stretch. If the driver was exceeding this limit, he should be charged with vehicular manslaughter. We need to stop being so lenient on speeders and realize that they are causing deaths—lots and lots of them—by increasing the severity of injuries and reducing opportunities for avoiding collisions. You can’t fight physics. Speeders are killers and should ALL be punished severely even for 1 mph over the limit.
Also, obviously he should be punished for leaving the scene.
posted by: anonymous on June 26, 2014 12:08pm
Razzie: One crash might be an “accident.” But dozens of deaths and serious injuries, both among pedestrians and even more so among drivers, on a short stretch of road within a short span of time? That’s called design.
The same goes for plane crashes or food poisoning.