SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The evening of Saturday, July 16, a woman was hit by an SUV and killed while crossing Chestnut Expressway in Springfield. City leaders have already expressed concerns earlier in 2022 about the number of people who were being hit by cars.

Springfield’s first pedestrian fatality of 2022 happened in March. An 82-year-old man was headed west at the crosswalk near Grand Street and Glentsone Avenue when he was hit and killed by a southbound car.

In late April 2022, two crashes that injured or killed pedestrians happened in less than a week. Two people were badly hurt on April 29 when a car hit them as they were walking in the median on North Glenstone. Charges have not been filed in connection to this crash.

On April 26, a man was hit and killed when an SUV drove into the median at Kansas Expressway and Division Street. Police said the driver was taken into custody, but no charges have been filed.

On May 7, 2022, someone who was walking on the sidewalk along Kearney Street was hurt when a car veered onto a sidewalk and hit them and another car. Charges have not been filed in connection to this crash.

It was after these crashes in late April and early May that OzarksFirst talked to City of Springfield leaders about how many pedestrians had been hit at that point in the year. The city said more education for both drivers and pedestrians is needed.

“We’re studying a lot of these crosswalk locations and places where we might need more,” said Kristen Milam, City of Springfield Communication Coordinator in May. “Our crash studies have shown that it’s kind of 50/50 responsibility-wise.”

The Connecting Grounds Church Pastor, Christie Love, said they work to educate the homeless population they help, as well as drivers, about what to do when getting around town.

“We try to give out bus passes any time we can,” said Love. “We talk a lot about please make sure that you’re looking both ways before you cross the street, please make sure that you’re wearing colors that are more visible.”

Love said that those with the privilege of being able to drive should take on the responsibility to be extra vigilant.

Several more crashes followed in May and June. On May 16, a woman was hit by a car on eastbound Interstate 44 near US-160. On June 17, another pedestrian was hit on Kearney Street. Springfield Police said the person who was hit was trying to cross Kearney when a semi-truck hit them. Police said the initial investigation did not show the semi-truck driver was negligent.

On July 30, Springfield Police found a man laying in the road at Madison Street and Holland Avenue after being hit by a car. He later died at a hospital. Officers found the car believed to have hit the man but were still looking for the driver as of August 1.