Fatal accident increases pedestrian safety awareness

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A woman was struck and killed by an SUV while crossing Highway 17 Business near 23rd Avenue North Saturday night.

That woman has been identified by the Horry County Coroner's Office as 53-year-old Debra Hall, originally from North Carolina. Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler says Hall, who died from multiple trauma, has been homeless in the Grand Strand area for two years.

According to the Myrtle Beach Traccid Division, Hall was crossing the street with several other pedestrians outside a legal crosswalk at about 6 p.m. Saturday, and was wearing dark clothing. She was the last to cross and was fatally struck by an SUV heading north.

The driver stopped immediately and called 911, officials said. No charges will be filed.

The accident comes at a time when the South Carolina Highway Patrol Troopers are amping up efforts to make sure pedestrians are more cautious when crossing the streets.

Troopers use the "SEE" campaign(Stop, Educate, Enforce) to make contact with pedestrians who are illegally using the roadways and educate them on what is the proper way to cross the street.

In 2012 troopers made contact with more than 7,000 pedestrians in South Carolina. In 2011, troopers only made contact with a little more than 3,000 pedestrians.

People in Myrtle Beach said they have various tactics to ensuring their safety when crossing the streets.

"I'll wait for where there's a stop sign or a red light, I guess a logical place for people to be crossing I guess is the way to think about it, instead of just darting out in front of a car in the middle of nowhere," Claire Jordan said.

"Looking both ways for each direction and judging too that I've got enough time at my speed that I can cross and not have to make a run for it and not have to make someone throw their brakes on," Sandra Taylor said.

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