Approx Time: 10AM
I was crossing from the NE corner of 13th and Irving to the NW corner of that intersection on a walk signal. I had about 15 or 20 seconds left to cross. A driver in a white SUV making a left turn from Irving to head north on 13th decided that checking for pedestrians before executing his left turn was unnecessary. Whether this is his standard operating procedure while driving is unknown to me; however, on this day, that decision resulted in him striking me with the front of his SUV in the crosswalk. I was thrown to the ground but the potent mix of adrenaline, fear, and anger made me spring right back up and run to the sidewalk. The car pulled over and after several minutes of “oh lord jesus, lord jesus oh lord,” the passenger explained that they were in a hurry to drop their kid off at camp, which, even if coming from the lord jesus himself, is not an acceptable excuse to take precautions to ensure that mortal flesh is not in the path of your large SUV. Even through the adrenaline rush I noted the pain in my left side, which later made itself very powerfully known to me. I obtained their insurance and contact information, as well as the contact information of a pedestrian behind me who saw the whole incident.
Now to moralize: I think the most disturbing aspect of my story, and other entries on this site, is that drivers who commit these acts of negligence evidently and actually believe that simply because it is legal to make a right on red, or a left on green, they are technically not at fault. It is a public health issue when people who do not fundamentally understand the reasoning behind the concept of the pedestrian right of way, and who violate it, are given a license to drive. In NO conceivable situation is a human, whether on foot or on bike, an equal match for several tons of rapidly moving metal. Any lack of effort on the part of municipal bodies to staunchly protect the pedestrian right of way, and effectively reprimand those who violate it, contributes to the erosion of a culture of safety.
Submitted by: Columbia Heights Pedestrian