Incredibly, within less than a two day period, automobiles struck and killed three pedestrians in Kansas City, Missouri, two of the three hit-and-runs.
The mayhem began late Friday night on U.S. 71, all too appropriately known by some as “Felony Freeway.” As a case in point, just a week earlier a 9-year-old boy was caught in a crossfire at 71 and Cleaver Boulevard, killing the boy. On Friday, at about 11:15 p.m., a Chevy Equinox, approximate vintage 2012-2015, struck and killed Jyra D. Hill, 25, as she walks eastward in the crosswalk at Gregory Boulevard. The black or dark blue SUV did not stop.
The highway in this stretch was controversial from the beginning as activists demanded–and got–stoplights and pedestrian crosswalks despite engineer worries about slowdowns and accidents. Their worries proved justified, and pedestrians have had to take their chances with hit-and-runs despite the stoplights.
On Saturday night, a silver Kia traveling east on I-435 near the the Grandview Road overpass struck and killed a pedestrian who was presumably trying to cross the road. In this case, the driver stopped after hitting the person and cooperated with the police.
On late Sunday afternoon, a little more than 40 hours after the death on U.S. 71, the second of the hit-and-runs occurred on 37th Street and Prospect. The driver fled the scene. As happens all too often on Prospect, no one saw anything. The victim was a man, at this time name unknown. A 911 call alerted police to his presence in the road, and he later died at a nearby hospital.
Earlier on Sunday, also in Kansas City’s urban core, two men showed up at a hospital, the victims of more conventional mayhem. Both had been shot. One died, making him Kansas City’s ninth homicide victim this year and keeping the city’s on pace with last year’s near-record slaughter.
As the Sentinel reported on Saturday, the city has responded to its plague of crime with a survey as pointless as it is pathetic. There were no questions about many obvious problems, including, unfortunately, the growing danger of hit-and-runs.