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Posted on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Police: U-M student hit in crosswalk on Plymouth Road dies

By Kyle Feldscher

The woman who was crossing Plymouth Road Wednesday when she was hit by a vehicle in a pedestrian crosswalk died during the night, officials said Friday.


Sharita Williams

Facebook photo

Sharita Williams, of Clinton Township, died early Friday morning from her injuries sustained in Wednesday afternoon’s crash, Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said Friday. The 20-year-old woman was a University of Michigan student in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, according to university records.

Williams worked for the University of Michigan Conference Systems, according to her profile on U-M’s website. She was studying to become a social worker.

U-M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said Friday grief counselors are being made available to students and staff who knew Williams.

“Conferences services and camps are making counselors available to other student employees and staff,” he said, adding there were a number of students who worked with Williams.

The crash took place just before 2:55 p.m. Wednesday on Plymouth Road between Traverwood Boulevard and Nixon Road. Witnesses said a green Chevrolet Cavalier driving east struck a woman as she crossed Plymouth Road from south to north.

The Cavalier struck Williams in the right lane as it went through the pedestrian crosswalk, witnesses said, and the driver of the vehicle did not appear to see Williams as she crossed the street.

That particular crosswalk has flashing lights that turn on when a pedestrian hits a button on poles on either side of the roadway. The crosswalk lights were flashing when the crash happened, witnesses said.

Williams came to rest in the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes, at least 10 feet away from the crosswalk. She was taken to University of Michigan Hospital and was in critical condition as of Thursday afternoon.

Police are investigating the crash, and the driver of the Cavalier was on scene for hours after the incident Wednesday. No citations or charges have been issued to this point in the investigation.

“It’s still an open investigation,” Bush said. “We still have to interview the driver.”

Police encourage anyone who was a witness to this crash to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

If Main Street can be closed for home football games then Plymouth Road can be closed M-F when classes are in session. How many students need to die before the University and the City do something?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

Comment from a previous story: EyeHeartA2 8:07 PM on 8/8/2013 I spoke with a witness to the crash. This person said a couple of things that I have not read yet in the reports. According to this person, the driver was a woman of roughly the same age as the victim. The driver changed lanes from behind a stopped car just prior to hitting the victim. Some additional witnesses confronted the driver and snippets of the conversation were along the lines of "you caused this", "you must stay" etc.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

This is an unnecessary tragedy plain and simple. Criticism of this particular crosswalk is totally misplaced. There are flashing lights as someone is crossing. Witnesses indicate they were, indeed, flashing. Obviously, the driver was not paying attention. Sincerest sympathy to Sharita's family.

Scott Kett

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

First of all, my deepest sympathies to this woman and her family. Second, I have to point out again the sense of entitlement, and political correctness Ann Arborites have. Pedestrians deserve rights, bicyclist deserve rights, students deserve rights, etc. What people forget is that rights come with responsibilities. Those cross walks were installed in the name of political correctness and Ann Arbor's righteous attitude about taking care of pedestrians - the idea always lacked common sense because just one person stops, doesn't mean the other will. They also don't work if people crossing don't pay attention. The dumb thing about it is that there are intersections 150 yards away from both of these cross walks. Why can't people just walk to them? Because it's Ann Arbor and we are entitled to everything here. Now we have the knee jerk reaction of installing more intersections on Plymouth Rd which make almost less sense than the cross walks because because that would give us 5 intersections on a busy road in a mile and half stretch. People will also blow through these lights! Please people, use some common sense. The ironic thing is that these cross walks don't even really lead anywhere. So, let's spend a half million dollars on building pedestrian bridges in the name of political correctness. After all, it's very easy to want to spend money on everything when aren't paying for it directly...

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

"The ironic thing is that these cross walks don't even really lead anywhere." Obviously you haven't walked up there, or observed the significant pedestrian traffic. "Those cross walks were installed in the name of political correctness and Ann Arbor's righteous attitude" They were installed so people could cross a busy street. News flash: your car does not make you any more important than anyone else. Your desire to commute into the city of Ann Arbor does not make you more important than the people who live in the town, or the people who choose to walk or bike.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

This is so sad. My condolences to this woman's family and friends.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

The AAPD needs to start handing out crosswalk violation tickets like candy. It is long overdue. The same goes for speed enforcement on Plymouth.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Time to get rid of the "mid-block" cross walks. This will continue to happen and the city would do well to wise up sooner than later. Tragic. I'm very saddened for your loss; the family, and the repose of Ms. Williams' soul are in my prayers

Atticus F.

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

3 months ago i witnessed someone almost killed at a crosswalk... I stopped for a pedestrian and the car in the lane next to me did not! It was the crosswalk at Main, near Jefferson. And if I hadn't laid on my horn, I fear the person would have been killed because they started to walk past my vehicle and into the path of an F-150 going 35 mph. What people don't understand is that handing out tickets will not bring someone back from a tragedy that could have been avoided. Nor will any legal retribution. An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure!

the other guy

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

This is not the first tragic accident of this nature in that area. The crosswalks are apparently not working and there is a need to traverse Plymouth road for shopping, food, etc. A good solution may be to put in a raised walkway bridge above the road in an area convenient near the most high traffic destinations. it would not be an uglier than the solar panels in front of the former Pfizer facility and would provide safe passage at any time without waiting for or worrying about dangerous traffic.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:03 p.m.

To build an underground walkway.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

I've noticed that since A2 has given more specific right-a-way to pedestrians - actually making it an offense to drive thru a crosswalk when there is an "approaching pedestrian"- the pedestrians, especially on campus, seem to operate with a false sense of security.Stepping directly into traffic without do care. Not at all implying that is what happened here...jusayin' I think the whole "holy crosswalk" thing is a bad idea...


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

All the foot traffic on Golfside there were never any serious injuries. The moment they put in the type of "Cross Walks" they have on Plymouth.... a women was hit and killed just like this poor girl. it's just sad.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:20 p.m.

Has the city toyed with the idea of rumble strips a hundred yards or so before the problem crosswalks? They seem (in my lack of engineering experience) like they would be inexpensive. They would get the driver's attention, at least long enough for them to look up, and they would likely make enough noise to signal to pedestrians that there are cars coming.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

The only obvious solution is to replace the flashers with traffic lights. The safety of pedestrians trumps the automobile drivers right to get where they are going in a hurry. Maybe that section of road should require an expansion of the parking area at US-23/Plymouth Road and require all of those need to go through there to hop on a shuttle bus and then take it back to there car when done with their business or better yet ride a bike or walk.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:01 p.m.

Since UM control this town, the city council and make loads of money, why don't they use some of that money profited from high tuition fees and their sports program on the students who actually attend this university by building a pedestrian bridge. They own most of the property along that stretch of road anyway and have multiple office space on both sides of that street. Stop spending money on Ann Arbor property, shrines of sports, parking lots, elite box seats and for once on something useful that will actually protect the lives of these young students. The removal of those awkward crosswalks and weird lights should be a pedestrian bridge. A positive memorial for all those lives lost on that section of road.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Oh no no no. This is horrible. Deepest condolences to her family and friends. Rest in peace, Sharita


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8 p.m.

This so sad - my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

My sincere condolences to the family of this young woman. Now, can someone please have the commonsense to build a pedestrian bridge over that road once and for all instead of these very weird and multiple crosswalks in the most bizarre places on that road. This is just the latest fatality on Plymouth Rd. but not the first. If the city had invested in at least one pedestrian bridges over that section that could acomonadate both walkers and bikers it would be safer. The placement of these crosswalks are awkward for drivers and multiple times the lights are flashing and no walkers are present. Then, there is the issue that walkers press that button and start walking immediately as if the road conditions are similar to the downtown area where students jam the street and drivers have to stop because of the sheer number of students zipping across with no concern for the traffic. However, the crosswalks are not unexpected or awkward because its at an intersection. Another stupid idea by the people who run this town. This would be a great funding project for UM since this appears to affect the college students who live off that road.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

My deepest condolences. These crosswalks should not exist on roads with speed limits above 25 mph. I've seen too many cars try to stop too hard too quickly, nearly causing a car accident, or just fly through them. On roads like Plymouth where people can get up to 45 mph, these crosswalks are just plain dangerous.

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

ZeHammer, the speed limit is 35 there. It is just not enforced, so we have this kind of situation where people are driving 45 and 50. It is a city road, not a highway, but people think it is their right to drive fast there. It is a big mistake, the whole thing. Years ago, Plymouth Road was not nearly the way it is now. It was a much quieter road, with much less going on. Putting a crosswalk there is a mistake whether it is 35 or 45 that people are driving. Plymouth Road has just too much traffic, somewhat hilly for poor visibility at short distances, and also curving areas.

Momma G

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

She looks so familiar. Does anyone know where she might have worked in Ann Arbor?

Angela Todd

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

It doesn't matter what laws, ordinances, flashing lights, pedestrian buttons to push, crosswalk lines there are. People still whiz through, whether you are walking, on a bike, walking a bike, etc. And, I'm STILL seeing people turning right, turning left, still on their cursed cell phones. I have a rule never to use any form of mechanical stuff...computers, cell phones, or anything else, when I leave home. I'm on my computer enough hours doing projects at home, as it is. NO one needs to be texting, talking, or sticking their noses in a machine as much as they do when they are in public. They need to look up every now and then and witness what goes on in the world firsthand, which includes socializing in a coffee shop, etc. I don't know what caused this accident, but, I, too, have been hit several times since residing in Michigan. You're not even safe on the sidewalk, with people driving down the length of sidewalks or whizzing in and out of driveways, etc. I OFFER CONDOLANCES TO HER FAMILY AND HOPE THAT THE PERSON WHO CAUSED THIS TRAGEDY IS PUNISHED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW. Sincerely, Angela F. Todd, Ann Arbor resident.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

Crossings should happen at existing lights, not at corners. That or build a cross bridge. The alternative is to cross at your own risk as drivers become increasingly distracted. Sincerely ?Michael J. Fox, TV Celebrity


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

My condolences to the families. For the rest of us, can we turn our attention away from BLAME, and focus instead on PREVENTION? Here is a list of very important tips on the Michigan DOS web site:,4670,7-127-1585_50413-258663--,00.html Notice that they include tips for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. If I were to try to sum them up briefly, it would be something like this: 1) Always be vigilant when sharing a roadway. 2) Right-of-way works in approximately reverse order of vulnerability. 3) Better safe than sorry.

Ann Arbor Parents For Students

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

I do think the crosswalks on 4 lane roads set pedestrians up with a false sense of security. I have seen several people almost get hit because the second car does not see the person walking across the street because they are blocked from view of the second car. Blame does need to be placed because these crosswalks have had two fatal injuries in the past 6 months. I think we had one person killed in 10 years for crossing Plymouth Road.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

Oops! 2) Right-of way CORRESPONDS approximately to vulnerability.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

What an incredibly terrible tragedy. Why isn't the city asking the University to install pedestrian bridges in areas where their students are more or less forced to cross busy streets? how many people will be killed in these dangerous cross walks before someone realizes that they don't work. There's a point where it doesn't matter whether the driver or the pedestrian is at fault- this is going to continue to happen until we have a more safe option for pedestrians than crossing busy streets. I realize there will be folks that will still choose to walk across busy roads to avoid the climb but this could give people without a death wish a safe option.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

Who is encouraging the crosswalks? I'm just pointing out that pedestrian bridges aren't a viable solution. My opinion is that the number of mid-block crosswalks should be reduced, and that "real" traffic lights be installed at the crosswalk(s) that remain.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Oh, ok. Let's just continue to encourage insanely inadequate crosswalks because it is so much more PC. Also, I'm pretty sure the U has enough money to pay for a few elevators. If I'm not mistaken they have managed to put them in most of their buildings...


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

New pedestrian bridges have to be accessible to people with disabilities - it's federal law under the ADA. To be accessible, there would need to be elevators, escalators, or ramps - not just stairs - to get from street level to bridge level. Elevators and escalators are expensive and difficult to maintain, particularly outdoors. Ramps would need to be something like 200 feet long in order to meet ADA requirements, otherwise they would be too steep.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

Is anything prevening the city from replacing each of those crosswalks with a proper traffic light that stops traffic when a pedestrian pushes a button?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Yes, it wouldn't meet warrants. State laws, based on Federal recommendations, only allow you to put in full traffic lights when "warranted". The "warrants" are spelled out in the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD.) You can't just put in traffic lights. Of course, one of the warrants is crash history, and fatalities count heavily in the calculation...


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

And of course the city would also have responsibility for ensuring that all crosswalks are well marked from both the pedestrian and driver perspectives, so that the city is not vulnerable for poorly designed/constructed crossings.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Too young , too young, very sad, condolences. I hate that ceosswalk - put in an overhead or underground walkway.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Admirable restraint. Thank you. This is sad.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

I agree with those who say that these crosswalks are grossly inadequate at best and, at worst, encouraging unsafe crossing. Why not put in some pedestrian overpasses? I know this is a different situation, but the overpass over Washtenaw between the dorms and the main campus is an example of how well this can work.

vicki honeyman

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

this is so so sad that another resident has died because of an ill-conceived solution. flashing lights for crosswalks are NOT a solution: traffic lights are the ONLY solution....they force drivers to slow down and there is no confusion for pedestrian or drivers. the flashing crosswalk light at huron and third, by the Y, is rarely used properly....drivers go through the light, turn on the light, don't know when they are supposed to stop or start driving again. get it together ann arbor traffic administrators! fix this problem, don't put a band-aid on it!!

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

So right, Vicki.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Huron & Third is so wide as to make the system difficult. On Plymouth and Liberty there are islands. At 7th & Washington the drivers, in my experience, are amazingly considerate. Perhaps Plymouth is just too busy to not have complete stops. Slowing traffic never hurts in the long run. I predict some tweaking.

Momma G

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

Oh no! I am praying for her family. Such a beautiful young lady. May she rest in peace and may God be with her family during this sad time in their lives.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

What a tragic loss--with deepest condolences to this beautiful young woman's family and friends and folks who were touched by all that she did and wanted to do with her life. This tragic death adds to the many very tragic or very serious incidents that have occurred all over town ever since the first crosswalk ordinance was enacted. It is time to decide whether crosswalks are safe havens or not. If not, then they should be removed and all the non-standard crosswalk ordinances repealed, so that unsuspecting folks are not led to trust them inappropriately. If yes, then there need to be very very serious consequences when someone is injured or killed when using what should have been a safe haven, so that we drivers know that we have to take crosswalks seriously and cannot drive distracted, and there will be grave consequences if we do not do that. It is my understanding that some larger cities, such as Washington DC, have such a strict policy--which requires drivers to be equally as watchful/careful as pedestrians.

Bob Zuruncol

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

So sorry to read of this tragedy. My heart goes out to Sharita Williams's family, and of course to the driver, too.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Oh no no no...I'm so sad to hear this. :( How terrible

G. Orwell

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Mayor and city council, how many more people have to die for your agenda? Get rid of the dangerous crosswalks and cars must have the right of way.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

How very sad. Rest in peace.

Patty Bradley

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

My heart goes out to everyone who knew this young woman. Her death is senseless and needless. On Michigan Avenue west of downtown Ypsi there is a pedestrian crossing where pedestrians can press a button and traffic lights come on and actually stop traffic for them. Like the Plymouth road scenario, this is a long stretch of road with no other place for pedestrians to cross. I think this is the only solution for the Plymouth road problem. Slow down and keep your eyes open folks.

NE Steward

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

My sincere condolences – such a tragedy - I cannot imagine the loss of such a beautiful person to the family – God bless

Robert Katz

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

These crosswalks were an awful idea from their inception. You either cross at a corner with a regular traffic signal or you cross only when you can see that it is safe to do so. Drivers cannot be looking for every pedestrian entering the street without impeding their ability to observe other traffic. That doesn't even address the people who enter these crosswalks on bicycles or running which exacerbates the situation. How many people are we going to let die before we realize that our so-called progressive community has once again made a very poor choice in the interest of helping its citizens?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

*Not progressive, just pretends it is fixed


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

I disagree that these crosswalks are inherently awful. They are clearly marked and have (to me) obvious signals showing that someone is going to be crossing. I agree with some of the other comments that big red lights (indicating STOP instead of CAUTION) would be better than yellow, but I'd much rather have people crossing at expected places than risking just running across the street. I think you raise a good point that people should only cross when they feel it safe, though. Even if you, as the pedestrian, have the right of way to cross the street, if a car makes a mistake, the pedestrian's going to be on the losing side. You need to be alert and have a healthy paranoia about drivers acting incorrectly.

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

I so agree with you.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

As a father of two young daughters, my heart breaks for this young woman's family. It is so tragic. I have been worried about this since these things started popping up around town. While its true that the law states that cars have to stop, the law does not state that we have to have them on busy roads like Plymouth. I also saw someone almost get hit on Huron just west of downtown. These things are senseless. While it can be time consuming for the pedestrian, let's just go back to having people walk to the intersection and wait for the light. No more senseless tragedies.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

I will be hugging my kids extra-long when I get home.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

Oh this is terrible, feel so bad for her and her family. Just tragic.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:01 p.m.

is anything more require as proof that these stupid crosswalks are a bad idea! Put in a full blown traffic light!!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

You know it really sounds like you're saying stupid pedestrians. This is not a highway. People are allowed to walk and expect, demand respect.

E Claire

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

I agree that the best solution is a full traffic light/stop. People can scream all they want that "its state law, etc" but this doesn't bring this beautiful woman back to her family.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

But, please, not 4 traffic lights on that stretch!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7 p.m.

Obviously this is a tragedy for all involved -- the driver, family, and witnesses. These crosswalks are dangerous, plain and simple. I've worked in this area for the last ten years, often driving up and down this stretch as many as 20-30 times a day. The amounts of close calls and accidents have gone significantly up since these crosswalks have been erected. It was unfortunate when the previous young lady died near the Islamic Center on Plymouth Rd, but obviously this "solution" has done nothing more than cause additional problems. As a city, we have spent a lot of money on these yellow signal crosswalks (And yeah...these are probably better than midblock crosswalks without strobe lights) but the clear issue here is that there are too many crosswalks for this area. Plymouth Road is a major thoroughfare and artery leading from US-23 to Campus/Downtown...there will always be lots of out of town drivers on this stretch and traffic needs to keep going at a good pace (reducing the speed limit to 25 as some have suggested on here is ludicrous). I do not have all the answers for this problem, but I think this incident proves that we seriously need to reconsider these crosswalks and come up with a better solution.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Oh, I'm sure the driver was thinking exactly that, "Clearly too many cross walks here, I'll just drive right through". The problem is simpler than anyone has alluded to. A car hit a pedestrian who always has the right of way. This could have happened at a red light for all we know of the drivers awareness.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

"but the clear issue here is that there are too many crosswalks for this area." Amen! I've been saying that for years.

Audion Man

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Let the drivers do what thou wilt; and nobody gets hurt.

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

I am so sorry to hear about this. My prayers are going out to Sharita's family and friends and the driver of the car and her family and friends. May each be blessed and may their hearts be healed of their loss.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

this is the second pedestrian death in that location. the first one lead them to put up the cross walk. I think that something more than a cross walk is needed at this location. so sad to hear of this loss to her family, friends, and all of us.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

I believe it's actually the third. There were two deaths prior to the crosswalk. And the crosswalk pre-dates the changes to the Ann Arbor crosswalk ordinance.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

I hate to have to say this, but last year I posted a comment on this thread predicting that this would happen because our city council created a false sense of security by ignoring reality and encouraging people to enter into an unsafe situation. I said back then, and I will say it again now, I hold the Ann Arbor City Council directly responsible for this girl's death, as well as the ones that are sure to follow. You people disgust me!

5c0++ H4d13y

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

As someone that walks, bicycles, motorcycles and drives a car in ann arbor I'm sympathetic to this view. Just because you have right of way doesn't mean everything else is going to yield it to you. The car driver is primarily responsible. Those of us outside the cage needs to verify that the cagers are paying attention and yielding right of way before we put ourselves in their path. God's speed Sharita.

John of Saline

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

Certain places might benefit from well-designed pedestrian bridges. Worth thinking about. The two over Washtenaw from the Hill-area dorms to central campus are good examples; one is a recent addition.

Bertha Venation

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

Perhaps CC should look into pedestrian bridges, instead of all this pretty art. My sympathies to Sharita's family, friends and loved ones.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

For heaven's sake. This is a tragic, tragic event but I hardly think the City Council is to blame. I applaud their efforts to make this area in particular a safer pedestrian corridor. Without knowing the exact scenario, none of you should be placing blame.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

So sad, so unnecessary. Remove all death trap cross walks now! Give the "common sense" right of way back to vehicles! The false sense of security these death traps provide are continuing to show tragic results! With all the distracted driving these days, this will only continue to get worse.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Please let's build crosswalks ABOVE the street. I have seen several near accidents on the U of M campus, one just a few months ago near Alice Lloyd hall--a bus stopped, a driving speeding through, pedestrians unable to see traffic volume clearly on a rainy night. Does one more young person have to die?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of this young woman. What about rumble strips a couple hundred yards before the crosswalk? That may have gotten the driver to look up and the walker to look over.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

No worries...just a few more deaths while our citizenry "learns the law"


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Nicholas -- we need to find a solution that works for drivers and pedestrians. The accidents and close calls are happening all the time at these crosswalks. The current situation on Plymouth road is dangerous. Cars/Trucks need to use Plymouth road, its a main artery into town. We need to find a solution that is SAFE for the Pedestrians AND the motorists. The current mid-block crosswalks are safe for neither.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

So we should give in to the lawless drivers, and further encourage their speeding on plymouth? How about they lower the speed limit in that section to 25 mph and put speed bumps in.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

If this had been a broadly recognized flashing red light this young woman might still be alive. I have never seen the current lights in any other city. My thoughts are with her family and friends.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

I cannot imagine the grief of the family by the loss of this precious young woman. My prayers are with them.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

How sad.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

How awful. Sending thoughts and prayers to her family. Please be careful out there!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

That is extremely sad. Clearly the "Crosswalk" process does not work, so I hope the city comes up with something else and gets rid of them. I have lived here for 20 years, and only until the new crosswalks / rules / processes were put in place did so many new problems come up. When they are not standard in other cities, or across the country, nor are the rules, too many unknowns come into play.

Bob W

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

What we need are "stop" lights like we have at intersections, no flashing guess what's going on lights. Very sad outcome and condolences to friends and family for sure.

Jojo B

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:57 p.m.

Guys -- It's not as simple as who has the right of way. Of COURSE, pedestrians have the right of way. But when a cross-walk is placed on a major road where people are going 35 mph, it can often be difficult for people to react in time, especially the cars behind the cars that are stopping first. For a more ridiculous example, put a crosswalk across Route 23 and see how that goes. There has to be something better than flashing yellow lights.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

As a frequent driver in that area i have seen numerous cases when the pedestrian hits the button, and proceed to cross REGARDLESS of approaching cars. I am NOT saying that this is what happened, but even though these flashing lights seem like a good idea -- they may give pedestrians a false sense of security and make them put too much trust in the car, assuming it will stop for them.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

I know of NO state in the union or even any European country that does not require a vehicle to yield to a pedestrian IN a crosswalk. This is a very uniform requirement. The law change you reference pertains to pedestrians about to enter the crosswalk, which has absolutely nothing to do with this situation.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

@ Nicolas and Will... yes, it is the law to stop. Ever heard of someone breaking the law? Come join us in the real world. One has to take responsibilty for ensuring their own safety. Is it the driver's fault? Clearly. Could this have been avoided by not assuming that everyone on the road drives safely and pays attention? Probably. Your self-righteousness is cool in you hipster circles, but it has no relevance here in the real world where people make mistakes.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I agree. I have lived here my entire life and I haven't heard about serious accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians until this absolutely deplorable new law came out. I truly believe it provides pedestrians with a false sense of security. As always, just because people are mandated to stop/pay attention doesn't necessarily mean they are. I'm extremely cynical about people in general, but I don't even trust drivers to stop at intersections.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

"The crosswalk lights were flashing when the crash happened, witnesses said." It appears "the system" was working. How obvious must it get before we understand there are pedestrians in the crosswalk? . . . railroad crossing barriers?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

This is very sad. Unfortunately, the Laws of Physics ALWAYS Trump State Law..


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:23 p.m.

This is a culture change back from the past 50 years of automobile dominance. I'm struggling too and found myself stopping for someone at a crosswalk at a traffic light - which we don't have to stop for. It will take the population a while to think different. I hate that we have to have these accidents as a result, but I can't imagine why the driver didn't see the flashing lights - they are hard to miss and catch your attention. However - I did follow someone yesterday who was texting while driving and it was clear she was not paying attention - should have called 911 on her (not that I am for stupid laws like no texting & driving but because she was not driving safe - texting, food, radio, hair, drunk, regardless)

Linda Peck

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

Nicholas, I agree that we have to learn this, but this is a special city with many people from all over the world. Keeping our signals clear and simple for everyone to understand would seem logical.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

Stopping for pedestrians in a crosswalk is a STATE LAW. Learn it.

Cathy Doran-McMillion

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

Prayers for Sharita's family. She was such a beautiful young woman, so kind, smart, sweet and friendly. So sorry for your loss.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

this is terrible, so very sad.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Very sad. Slow down out there people, there's nowhere you need to be that's worth this.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Oh my God I am so sorry for the family and loved ones of Ms. Williams. She was so young and had a wonderful life in front of her. I want to say something about the new crosswalks but this is not the time. May she rest in peace.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Well said, justcurious. I hope people can refrain from turning this thread into a city planning/traffic-related debate, and focus on paying their condolences to this beautiful young woman and all who loved her. RIP, Sharita.