By BARRY LANK
BOYLE HEIGHTS — A pedestrian was struck and killed Wednesday evening near the L.A. County-USC Medical Center as police say they are focusing on a rising number of pedestrian fatalities.
Carlos Theodore, 41, was crossing Marengo Street by Cummings Street at an unmarked crosswalk. The vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Caravan, was traveling westbound on the number 2 lane. The driver stopped and stayed at the scene.
Police say no drugs or alcohol were involved, and speed does not appear to have been an issue. No charges have been filed, pending an investigation by the District Attorney. The driver’s name has not been released.
The pedestrian, who suffered severe head injuries, died after being transported to the hospital, said Officer Juan Mendoza.
Pedestrian fatalities across the United States rose sharply in 2015, totaling 5,376 – a 9.5 percent rise over the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While the nationwide total for 2016 is not yet available, Det. Felix Padilla of LAPD’s Central Traffic Division said the Central Bureau saw 34 fatalities last year – a significant number, he said.
“When crossing the street, really make sure you’re being seen,” Padilla said, noting Theodore was struck at 6:15 p.m., when the sky was dark. “You cross the street lane by lane.”
Though distractions such as cell phones and texting may help explain the rise in pedestrian deaths nationwide, they do not appear to have been a factor in this incident, Padilla said.
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