Saturday, March 02, 2013
Pedestrian Killed on Post Road East
UPDATE A 68-year-old Fairfield man was struck and killed late today on Post Road East at the Fairfield town line, police said.
The scene tonight in front of Shake Shack, 1849 Post Road East, where a male pedestrian was struck. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Bruce Tabackman: Fairfield attorney. File photo
The accident occurred at about 6 p.m. in front of Shake Shack, 1849 Post Road East.
The driver, a 16-year-old Westport resident, was not injured, and he remained at the scene, witnesses said. The windshield of his car, traveling westbound, was heavily damaged.
Police late tonight identified the man as Bruce Tabackman—an attorney in Fairfield who at one time practiced in Westport—and said he was pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital. A preliminary investigation showed he was not walking within a crosswalk, police said.
Relatives said Tabackman was a bachelor who lived alone with his devoted chocolate lab, Buddy.
“Arriving officers found the victim, an elderly male lying in the westbound lane next to the vehicle and immediately began medical treatment,” said Capt. Sam Arciola. “The victim was transported from the accident scene to Norwalk Hospital by Westport EMS where he was later pronounced deceased.”
Police shut down traffic while they investigated. All lanes were reopened shortly after 11 pm. The Fire Department provided emergency lighting.
Town officials and the state Department of Transportation have planned traffic improvements to the area following a series of accidents. (See WestportNow Jan. 5, 2012)
On Nov. 23, 2011, a Shake Shack employee who had just finished her shift was struck while crossing the road near the Bulkley Avenue intersection. She suffered a fractured pelvis and concussion, according to a police report.
Two pedestrians have been killed in the area in the past four years. As a result of one accident in 2008, flashing pedestrian LED signs were installed in front of 1655 Post Road East.
A third pedestrian died from injuries when struck by a car further west in front of Restoration Hardware, 76 Post Road East, in December 2010. He was not in a crosswalk, police said.
Police asked anyone who witnessed the latest accident to call them at (203)341-6000.
Dave Matlow contributed reporting.
Comments: Comment Policy
Until stale red lights, stop signs and speed limits aren’t ignored; hands-free means no dialing, texting or holding your phone to your ear, and most importantly, knowing pedestrians ALWAYS have the right-of-way, what meaningful improvements can be made by the D.O.T?
P.S. I feel safer crossing the streets of NYC than I do on almost any road with a moving car on it in Wesport. Fact.
I saw two pedestrians running across Post Road to get to and from Shake Shack earlier today. The rationale is that it is well worth risking your life to get that burger a minute or two earlier rather than taking the time to go to the crosswalk to cross safely.
Where does the piece say anything about anyone exceeding the speed limit, dialing, texting, holding anything in his ear? Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t We don’t know and can’t know based on what is written here.
And, btw, pedestrians do NOT “always” have the right of way. They have the right of way in crosswalks, and a number of other situations, but see Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-300b, “a) Each pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk marked as provided in subsection (a) of section 14-300 or any unmarked crosswalk or at a location controlled by police officers shall yield the right of way to each vehicle upon such roadway.”
The article gives us no ability to understand what happened, and in fact, given the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, nobody may ever know. But the simplistic “the pedestrian is always right” and “the driver must have been texting” judgment is not supported by anything in the article.
But yes, this place, or at least the nearby intersection with Bulkley Road, would be worth consideration for pedestrian marking and signage.
I agree with Iain Bruce. Seems alot of people assume texting or talking or speeding is the cause without even knowing the facts. I was speaking to a police officer this morning while getting a coffee. The officer told me it was just starting to get dark and the pedestrian was wearing pretty dark clothes and it was probably very hard to be seen by anybody. It’s very sad that it happened and to be honest, I’m suprised it does not happen more often. People are always walking across that section of road. People are always parking in the big parking lot across the street and taking thier life in thier hands to run across the street for a burger. Some people are a little bold and have the “I have the right of way mentality” and slowly walk across the street. It is a pretty dangerous piece of road, but if people would just take the extra three or four minutes and walk to the intersection, it could be a safer road for everyone.
More often? As stated, this is third of fourth in as many years along that stretch.
Mr. Bruce, My intention was not to accuse the young driver of any or all of the infractions included in my list, but rather to point out that I’ve little faith in whatever the D.O.T.‘s planned traffic improvements may be.
Consider yourself very fortunate if you’ve not experienced “near misses”. Earlier this week a very hefty Land Cruiser soaring through a very red light almost met my car. If I’d gone straight across the Post Road versus making a left onto it, my picture, too, might have been in the paper. My home is on a narrow, winding side street with a
25 mph speed limit—when 25 is 40, getting my mail is not a pleasant chore.
And, thank you, I stand corrected. I truly believed “Pedestrians Always Have the Right-Of-Way” was a common sense law. According to the statute you provided, it appears as though common sense must be practiced solely by the pedestrian—essentially—don’t walk into traffic. I get it, but if I see a 10 year old or an 80 year in the middle of the road, near or far from a cross walk, my common sense combined with a little courtesy will kick in and I’ll allow them to cross safely.
My thoughts are with all those connected with this tragedy.
Sad all around. The young driver will carry the burden of this tragedy for life along with the victim’s family.
The fact is, however, that Shake Shack’s parking is woefully inadequate during busy dinner hours and drivers park in the under-utilized parking lot in the shopping center on the other side of the Post Road.
The Shack people ought to make some financial arrangement with the shopping center for parking and a more direct walkway with a pedestrian controlled light might reduce future tragedies.
This is terrible and it was only a matter of time for it to happen. This was a known problem.
The parkning rules were made too easy to allow for the “wonderful” Shake Shack to get in. Now people park on the other side of the post road in the Home Goods lot and run across.
We can’t have people running across the post road to get a hamburger and die in the process.
The police, Shake Shack and the P&Z, who sets the parking rules, need to figure something out here.
The sad fact is that the State won’t allow additional pedestrian controlled lights anywhere else on the Post Road. DOT’s concerned that making cars stop at pedestrian lights will only cause more accidents. A plain vanilla crosswalk doesn’t provide any safety to pedestrians.
It doesn’t take an expensive study to tell us that this is an unacceptable situation, whether on a state road or not.
I was driving with my son past the location today at 12 noon, a mere 18 hours after last night’s tragedy. We saw a young couple holding an infant standing across the street from Shake Shack. As we past by, we saw them run across four lanes of US-1 to Shake Shack.
It is insane to let this continue. We must take temporary measures (e.g., warning signs, Shake Shack providing crossing guards) immediately.
Allow to make a correction here. P&Z did not change anything, the ZBA, Zoning Board of Appeals, gave Shake Shack a varience on the number spots they needed.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport