Pedestrian struck, killed on Mike Padgett Highway

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Editor's Note: A headline, article and photo caption in Friday’s edition incorrectly stated the number of pedestrians killed by vehicles on Richmond County roads this month. Three people have died in the five incidents. Timothy Dunn, 15, was struck by a Buick LeSabre on Laney-Walker Boulevard on April 13 while riding a bicycle, but survived. Information was incorrectly attributed to Sgt. Monica Belser, of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

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Officials work the scene after John Mark McPherson, 61, was hit and killed by a minivan on Mike Padgett Highway. The coroner said Thursday night that McPherson had been drinking. It was Richmond County's third pedestrian fatality since April 10.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Officials work the scene after John Mark McPherson, 61, was hit and killed by a minivan on Mike Padgett Highway. The coroner said Thursday night that McPherson had been drinking. It was Richmond County's third pedestrian fatality since April 10.

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The Augusta Chronicle regrets the errors.  

A man was struck and killed Thurs­day night on Mike Padgett High­way.

John Mark McPherson, 61, became the fifth pedestrian to be hit – and third to die – on Richmond County roads since April 10.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies responded at about 8:30 p.m. to calls of a traffic accident in the 3100 block of Mike Padgett Highway at the intersection with Payton Drive.

McPherson, who died at the scene, was under the influence of alcohol, according to Richmond Coun­ty Coroner Mark Bowen. He was pushing a lawnmower, wearing dark clothes and not using a crosswalk, Bowen said. McPherson was hit by a blue minivan traveling northbound, according to the sheriff’s office. The minivan and its driver remained on scene when deputies arrived.

The other pedestrians struck since April 10 were teenagers, and two of them have died.

Early Sunday, Zykeith Harris, 14, died at the scene after being hit near the 1500 block of Gordon Highway.

On April 10, Demonta Collins, 13, was killed when he darted into Milledge­ville Road while running from a dog. He was hit by a 2001 Acura, according to the sheriff’s office.

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bubbasauce 04/18/14 - 01:16 am
I don't like to make comments

I don't like to make comments about people getting hurt or killed walking along the side of the road but I have had to swerve out of the way on many occasions because I guess they are daring you to hit them. As far as an old man that has been drinking, that's sad that had to happen. When I was young I walked to the store about a half mile away and I always stayed in the grass at least fifteen feet away.

RunnerDoc 04/18/14 - 06:34 am
Bad Drivers

Maybe 4 people kit and killed by cars in 8 days is a testament that people need to slow down when they drive, pay more attention to the road, get off their phones or other distractions.

In a recent article in USA Today, the Southeast (NC, SC, GA, AL, FL) were 5 of the worst 8 states in the country for driving related accidents.

It is sad that too often in these comments sections that everyone blames the victims for getting hit or killed. No one comments on the drivers. It does appear that several of these recent incidents may not have been avoidable - but the infrastructure in many of the areas in metro Augusta has no shoulders or sidewalks on the road -

It is time to re-think our transportation infrastructure and create safer ways for pedestrians and bicyclists (and other people who may not be able to afford automobiles for transit) to get from one place to another.

Maybe it is the drivers who need to improve?

nocnoc 04/18/14 - 09:03 am
Plenty of blame to go around

Some of us on the South Side, have been warning of the dangerous Jay Walking and illegal crossings on Hwy 56, and Gordon Hwy. for years.

While I am sure none of us wanted to be proven right with these examples. None the less, the evidence is slapping ARC & RCSO in the face.

In this particular case there is NO crosswalk area within about 1/2 a mile south and 3/4's of a mile North of Easel Ln. and Hwy 56. according to the maps Payton Drive turns into Easel Ln. as it reaches Hwy 56

The Hwy 56 area near Apple Valley and Marvin Griffin Rd has 2 crosswalks, which are less used than, the sections in between YDC and Bobby Jones as crossing points. Many Jaywalk in this area to save <100 feet of extra walking.

Even more Ironic, the Probation Day Reporting House and the GA DMV on either side of the RCSO South Side Sub-station are the source of most Illegal crossings in this area.

While the RCSO Road Blocks and Travel Paper checks catch
maybe 1 in maybe 300++ stops for a serious infraction, Jay walking IS causing deaths and serious injuries. Plus Jaywalk Enforcement doesn't require stopping 299 innocent persons in their travels to catch 1 in about 300.

1. Start ticketing those that endanger themselves and others.
2. Install a few additional crosswalks.
3. Start ticketing drivers using the Crosswalk line as the Stop line.
4. Extend the duration of the Crossing time 10 seconds.
5. Add some sidewalks and barrier rails in areas of frequent Jay walkers.

> BTW: Someone wasn't thinking,
When ARC allowed 2 Motels to be built across from South Gate, but did not install a lighted Stoplight crossing for access. Not only will the extra Stoplight / Crosswalk allow for safe crossing, IF it is placed between South gate and K-Mart it will increase safer access to both shopping centers.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 04/18/14 - 10:30 am

RunnerDoc posted:

. . . the infrastructure in many of the areas in metro Augusta has no shoulders or sidewalks on the road.

That is true, but we've got to remember that Mike Padgett Highway is not a country road, it is a highway; a major thoroughfare with multiple lanes, a suicide lane, and soon-to-be concrete median in some places. Putting in sidewalks will not stop jaywalking. NocNoc had some thoughtful comments about that up above.

The time to put in sidewalks is when a street or road is first built, and/or when a parcel of land is developed and/or subdivided for construction. The owner of the land should build the sidewalks to the local authority's specifications.

I am dismayed that Augusta/Richmond County building codes do not contain a requirement that all new home construction requires sidewalks to be built.

sand gnat
sand gnat 04/18/14 - 11:14 am

Liability regarding these pedestrian accidents rests on the merit of each individual case. But I feel that a wise pedestrian would be more aware that walking or crossing any road involves potential great risk. A lot of pedestrians and bicyclists today feel that they are "safe" because of the alleged "right of way" agenda. You can be dead right.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 04/18/14 - 11:56 am

If they would put waist-high concrete medians in the roadways, it would stop a lot of jaywalking (not all, because some would climb over the medians). Medians would also have a benefit of cutting down on some head-on vehicle collisions.

apathetic.mediocrity 04/18/14 - 02:09 pm
Though it isn't likely a big

Though it isn't likely a big deal, there is an inconsistency in this article. The summary at the beginning of the story says he was Richmond County's 4th struck pedestrian to pass away since 10 April, yet within the article it says he is the 5th pedestrian to be struck & 3rd to die since 10 April.

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