A man crossing the street in Taft was struck and killed and left at the scene by a hit-and-run driver Friday night. KGET-TV reports the accident took place on Highway 119 at the intersection of East Kern Street on January 27, 2023.
The Taft Police Department responded to the scene in the southbound lanes of the highway sometime after 8:35 p.m. They determined that a man was pushing a shopping cart across the highway when he was struck by a vehicle. Tragically, the 53-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators say the driver responsible left the scene in a dark-colored vehicle that may have major front-end damage. They are interested in talking to anyone who witnessed the crash or may have information about the driver or vehicle involved. Please call the Taft Police Department if you can provide any information.
Pedestrian Accident Dangers in Taft
Pedestrians in Taft and across Kern County don’t always have safe paths and clearly marked crosswalks to take advantage of. That’s just one risk to their safety they must constantly face. They must also depend on the attention of drivers who are sometimes looking at cell phones or talking with passengers and not watching out for those on foot.
California transportation officials track the dangers for Kern County pedestrians every year. In 2021, they recorded 255 pedestrian accidents involving injuries leading to at least 57 tragic deaths. At least 67 of those accidents were considered a felony hit-and-run.
Pedestrians travel with no protection. In a collision with a two-thousand-pound vehicle, they can suffer traumatic injuries and be placed at risk to lose their lives. The only way to reduce these accidents in 2023 is for motorists to realize how much harm they can cause when they take their focus off the lanes and crosswalks ahead. And when they do strike defenseless pedestrians, they must decide to stay at the scene and get emergency responders on the way as soon as possible.
A word for families after tragic Taft pedestrian collision…
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Kern County, you should be aware of the benefits available to you and your family through an insurance claim. Financial support is often available to victims and families even when a hit-and-run driver isn’t identified.
You can read more about these cases on my page about tragic pedestrian accidents in Kern County.