REDDING, Calif. – Yesterday I was driving up So. Market street at about 11:30 a.m. when I observed numerous emergency vehicles crowded together in the southbound lane. There were scores of people out on the street and sidewalks. As I passed by the emergency vehicles I could see a small gray sedan on the west curb with the passenger side completely bashed in. I had just passed by this location minutes earlier and no emergency was apparent. I learned today in the Record Searchlight that the crash caused the death of a 77-year-old Redding woman. I feel sick about having come upon the scene and my sincerest condolensces go to her family.
According to the Searchlight the accident happened when the vehicle that the deceased woman was riding in made a left turn from the northbound lane of Market onto Grange St. A southbound Jeep Cherokee driven by a 22-year-old Douglas City man struck the passenger side of the car. The woman died shortly thereafter.
The Redding Police Department is asking for witnessess. 530.225.8217.
The location of the accident is particularly troublesome. This area of So. Market has seen numerous serious accidents, including pedestrian fatalities, in recent years. The Good Will Mission is on this block, and there are often many people milling about. Motorists seem to habitually travel at relatively high speeds down this 4-lane stretch of highway. Warning signs have been posted in the last few years, as well as a pedestrian activated flashing light, but these may not be adequate in light of the speeds involved and the potential for distractions. A signal light has been discussed as an option, but apparently has been resisted by motorists and commuters. I would suggest, at the least, that the speeds be reduced to the usual speeds for a business district, 25 mph. Something should be done.