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Pay attention

The two people who hit a 52-year-old St. Albert resident on Akins Drive two weeks ago may not even know they put someone's life in danger.

Our roads are filled with bad drivers.

The daily commute is met with drivers running stop signs, speeding, swerving, texting, running red lights and even driving too slow. They seem to think signal lights are for everyone else but them, rear-view mirrors are only for vanity reasons, and shoulder-checking is for suckers.

It’s amazing, really, how some drivers conduct themselves on the road, but to run over someone and not notice? Seems impossible. How about two different drivers running over the same person without noticing?

That may be the case following an incident in Akinsdale two weeks ago. St. Albert RCMP say two drivers ran over a man on Akins Drive after he had fallen while crossing the street near the 7-Eleven around 11 p.m. on Feb. 26.

RCMP are hoping to hear from members of the public to help identify the vehicles involved. They believe it is possible the drivers did not realize they struck a person.

The first vehicle was a dark-coloured truck headed northbound on Alpine Boulevard, which ran over the man as he lay unmoving in the street. The second, a dark-coloured vehicle that may have been an SUV, hit him a short time later while heading southbound on Alpine.

Neither driver stopped to check on the man or report what had happened.

Luckily, the weather that night was better than it had been in previous days. Records from Environment Canada show temperatures hovered around -13 C at that time, although the wind chill brought that down to -21 C.

Thankfully, the man in question is recovering in hospital. It’s both perplexing and troubling that two drivers going in two separate directions could fail to notice him lying in the street.

Akins Drive is a busy road that curves slowly north just past Alpine Boulevard, but visibility isn’t typically an issue at that T-intersection. It winds through a residential area, with a small commercial mall at the corner. The crosswalk across Akins Drive at Alpine is marked by a bright yellow-and-white crosswalk, signage and solar-powered flashing pedestrian lights. The roadway also narrows at that intersection so pedestrians have less roadway to cross.

It’s unclear if the man fell in the crosswalk or at the other side of the intersection. But the T-intersection means the drivers in question were either turning from Akins Drive onto Alpine, or from Alpine onto Akins. Either way, a person lying in the street should have been very visible to a responsible, attentive driver, even at night. Even if they did not see him in time, it defies the imagination to think they did not realize they had run over something large – in this case, a person.

Sadly, this is not the first time this winter that a vehicle has struck a pedestrian. A month earlier, in North Ridge, the driver of a car struck a 74-year-old woman who was crossing the intersection at Northstar Close using a walker. She, too, was hospitalized.

Accidents are 100 per cent preventable – that’s why they’re called accidents. Some drivers, unfortunately, just aren’t paying attention.