Pedestrians Jaywalking at Spot of Fatal Boulevard Accident

Over a week since an accident on Roosevelt Boulevard killed a mother and her three children, city officials are considering more safety improvements on the busy highway.

Last week, two separate accidents on the Boulevard resulted in the death of Samara Banks and three of her four young children and left an 11-year-old girl who was hit while riding her bike, in critical condition.

The accidents have brought national attention once again to the issue of pedestrian and driver safety along the 12-lane highway that is frequently referred to as one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

Yet despite the recent attention, on Tuesday NBC10 still spotted people jaywalking in the same spot where the family was killed, even though there are safe crosswalks a tenth of a mile in both directions. June Navarro and a friend were seen crossing that area with a baby in a stroller.

“I shouldn’t be risking it,” Navarro said when confronted. “You’re right. I’m not gonna do it no more now that you put that to my attention.”

But even after he claimed he would never do it again, he was spotted a short time later once again crossing in the same spot with the baby. A half dozen other pedestrians were spotted crossing the same area about a half hour later.

“I have to do it sometimes,” said Lucy Torress, one of the pedestrians. “It’s faster for me.”

Friends and family of Samara set up a memorial at the accident scene as a reminder to people of what happened. A group supported by the victims' family is not only raising money for their funerals but also pushing the city to replace a signal crosswalk that was taken down from the Boulevard 30 years ago.

Philadelphia’s chief traffic and lighting engineer did not offer an explanation as to why the crosswalk was removed. He did say however that the city will spend the next 15 weeks deciding whether a new signal crosswalk should go up.

Saa-Sean, one of the children killed in last week’s crash, would have turned 2-years-old today.


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