SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Over the weekend, another pedestrian was killed while crossing U.S. 41 in Sarasota.
Troopers said 27-year-old Johnny Burns was hit by a car at about 9 p.m. Sunday evening as he crossed at the Gulf Gate Drive intersection.
“Your heart sort of sinks a little bit," said Mark Sieve.
For Sieve, it was a disheartening sight. He said he was on his way home from work Sunday night when he drove up to a ton of police lights.
“There was a person lying down in the street and obviously hit and in distress and the paramedics were giving the person CPR, so it was pretty serious," Sieve explained.
Monday, Sieve found out 27-year-old Johnny Burns did not make it.
“It’s tragic, it only takes a split second," Sieve said.
Statistics show it happens quickly and far too often. So far, FHP only has data from January until March 2019. In that short time, and in Sarasota County alone, troopers recorded 43 bicycle crashes where three people died and another 57 pedestrian crashes where two people were killed.
“You want to avoid being dead right," said Trooper Kenn Watson with the Florida Highway Patrol. "Just because you have the right away, doesn’t mean you can walk out into the street.”
The Florida Highway Patrol said in this case, the driver isn’t at fault since he had the green light. Burns was in the crosswalk, but he walked right into oncoming traffic.
“Unfortunately we do see this quite a bit in the state of Florida," said Trooper Watson. "That’s because it’s a beautiful state, the weather is phenomenal, a lot of people are out there on bikes and they’re walking.”
He said already this year, Florida has seen 80 million visitors. So what if only half of them drove?
“That’s 40 million more cars on the road. Be careful, think ahead," Watson said.
Troopers said they’re doing all they can to educate pedestrians.
“In dark clothing, have an LED light on, make good decisions and most certainly, stay out of the roadway," Trooper Watson said.
As for drivers, “[make] sure that as you approach a crosswalk, that no one is in it or that there are no children by it waiting at a bus stop,” Trooper Watson advised. "So the bottom line is head up, devices down, hands on the wheel.”