Laguna Heights Resident Calls for Safe Crosswalks after Woman Hit by Constable
LAGUNA HEIGHTS – Several residents are calling for safe crosswalks after a woman was struck by a Cameron County constable deputy Sunday night.
Manuel Reyes owns Reyes Seafood in Laguna Heights, located right off of State Highway 100.
He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS people are constantly crossing the highway to get to his shop, the laundry mat next to him or the convenience store.
"I would say an average of every half an hour or so," he said.
On Sunday night, a woman pushing her daughter in a stroller tried to get across the street to pick up dinner. But she didn't make it across.
Cameron County Pct. 1 Constable Pete Delgadillo said one of his deputies patrolling the area struck the woman as she was nearing the middle turning lane. The stroller wasn't hit.
"The deputy immediately stopped and rendered aid to the pedestrian," Delgadillo said. "The female was transported to the hospital in Brownsville. When she was transported, she was in stable condition."
The woman's husband spoke to CHANNEL 5 NEWS off camera. He said his wife was flown overnight to a San Antonio hospital because she suffered broken bones in her left leg, hip and arm, as well as a laceration to her head.
Delgadillo added, that following the hit, his deputy immediately turned on his emergency lights. That activated the surveillance cameras on the unit recording up to 30 seconds prior to when they were turned on.
He couldn't show us the video since the case is under investigation, but Delgadillo said it did record the moment of impact. He added it shows no wrong doing by the constable deputy.
Delgadillo also said when there is no walkway on the road, vehicles have the right-of-way.
"She was wearing dark clothing and the deputy, by the time he saw her crossing, I mean, he reacted and it was already too late," he said.
Reyes said he knows the victim and her family and is thankful she survived. Still, he said, more of these accidents are bound to happen if the state doesn't step in to make the stretch of the highway safer.
"It's a need," Reyes said. "It's very important that we have a cross light, so people can punch the button and they can have access to the road."
Texas Department of Transportation Spokesman Octavio Saenz said the constable or people in Laguna Heights can request a survey to determine the need for a cross walk.
He said TxDOT would first have to determine if the number of pedestrians in the area merit a crosswalk. The state would then have to design it in an area deemed safe to use.
The Department of Public Safety is investigating the accident.
The constable that struck the woman is not suspended from the job. However, he was granted time-off during the investigation.