Recent pedestrian deaths leaves Pass Road residents fearful

Recent pedestrian deaths leaves Pass Road residents fearful

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - In less than two months, two pedestrians have been hit and killed in Gulfport; just yards apart.

The memorial for Douglas Mack, who was hit and killed in November, still stands at the corner of Pass Road at Ford Street. Karen Haney died Saturday night just east of that intersection after getting hit by a car while walking.

Residents along the busy intersection are frightened for their lives, and say enough is enough.

"It's very dark here, and I think that's why people are getting killed right here. You can't see them at night. That's the problem," said Kimberly Baker.

Baker lives near the area, and - like thousands of others - travels the road every day and night.

"It causes me a little bit of anxiety because it keeps happening," Baker said. "And every time I know I'm coming up to Ford Street, I'm very, very, very careful."

Theresa Shehorn walks along Pass Road often.

"They do need more sidewalks on both sides of the road," Shehorn said. "And, they need more lighting."

The stretch of road includes several residential areas on the north side, including Fernwood Retirement Park - home to a community of walkers like Charlene Lewis and her daughter, Melissa Graves.

"We do love to walk, but you just can't do it because you take your life in your hands," Lewis said. "And it's scary, especially when you get to be older and you don't move as fast. And you're afraid if you fall in the street or fall down, you're gone."

Lewis wants sidewalks and designated crosswalks that can allow pedestrians a safer way to get to nearby stores and restaurants.

"You cannot walk down Pass Road," Lewis added. "There's a narrow passage on some of it where you've actually got to step into the road," Lewis noted, "It's very, very dangerous because the cars are going way too fast. They go at least 45, maybe 50 [miles per hour]."

Graves still walks, but admits it's a risk.

"I just keep watching both ways, and I basically run when there's nothing coming at all," said Graves. "But it's hard because people are coming in and out from all directions."

No charges have been filed in either case. City officials say they are still investigating the specifics of what caused the accidents.

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