Fatal Crash Highlights Dangers of Busy Road

A fatal Christmas accident is highlighting the dangers of one of San Diego’s busiest roads.

A man, who has not yet been identified, was hit and killed Thursday trying to dodge traffic on Camino Del Rio West, just before the Interstate 8 eastbound ramp in the Midway District.

It is the second, similar accident in the area this year. In October, the driver of a dump truck hit a pedestrian in the middle of the I-8 offramp, leading onto the same road. That man later died.

By most accounts, the stretch is so dangerous because the speed of traffic entering and exiting the freeway is often well above the posted 35 mph speed limit.

"Too many people in just one area, and they are not slowing down,” said Robert Kleis, who has been working at this intersection for five years. “They are just constantly on the go right here; it's crazy. Everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere. Speed is the problem here.”

The area is heavily populated with tourists from the nearby hotels, a transient encampment by the overpass and a trolley stop not far off.

Michael Andrew manages an auto-audio shop nearby, so he had a front row seat to all the crashes that happen there: one a week and at least one serious collision a month, by his reckoning.

“We caution people all the time, ‘Do not cross here. Don't play frogger,’” said Andrew. “They'll still try it because they are carrying some heavy luggage or tired from the day or just don't know better.”

Too often, it ends with tragic results, as it did Christmas evening. The victim, only described as a white man, was running across Camino Del Rio West near Moore Street when a vehicle paused to let him cross.

However, a car behind swerved around the halted vehicle and struck the pedestrian, killing him.

The devastated driver involved was questioned and released without being cited or charged.

Police returned Friday to ask shop keepers if they had security footage of the incident. The search came up with nothing.

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