by AMELIA WEDEMEYER
Photo by Chris Rogers
The truck that reportedly struck two pedestrians on Broadway, dragging one person as it drove off, had to pass this pedestrian crossing sign one block east of the spot where the pedestrians were hit.
and CHRIS ROGERS
Two pedestrians were injured in the latest hit-and-run accident on Broadway. Witnesses said that on Saturday, January 18, at 10:18 p.m., Andrew Thomas Wood, 20, of Robbinsdale, and Maxwell Casey O’Brien, 19, of Excelsior, were crossing in the crosswalk at Broadway and Washington Street when a westbound dark/medium blue pickup truck struck them.
O’Brien, who sustained less serious injuries, told police that after being hit, he clung to the side of the pickup truck as it continued on because he was afraid he would get run over by its wheels if he let go. Witnesses said they saw the pickup drag Wood half a block down the street. Both Wood and O’Brien were transported to Winona Health for injuries. Wood was subsequently airlifted to Gundersen Health Systems in La Crosse, Wis. Officers do not currently know the full extent of his injuries.
The accident comes two months after a 74-year-old woman was hospitalized following a hit-and-run accident on Broadway near St. Martin's Lutheran Church. Since that accident, Winona City Council members have been calling for a study of pedestrian safety and potential safety improvements along the length of Broadway. City staff did not respond to an initial call for a study of pedestrian safety on Broadway, but when the issue was raised again two weeks ago, City Manager Judy Bodway announced that staff will prepare a citywide traffic study. Details on what the study would include were limited, however, and she noted that Mayor Mark Peterson's interest in regulating intersections without traffic signs was the impetus for the study, not pedestrian concerns.
City officials had turned down previous requests for pedestrian safety improvements near St. Martin's Lutheran Church, but following the most recent accident they provided a portable pedestrian crossing sign for the church to deploy. A similar sign is located at Broadway and Johnson Street, one block east of the scene of Saturday's hit-and-run accident.
Police still looking for hit-and-run driver
The pickup truck that reportedly struck O'Brien and Wood was last seen traveling northbound onto Winona Street. Based upon witness statements and pieces of the pickup truck left behind at the scene, police are looking for a dark/medium blue 1988-2000 Chevy or GMC pickup truck with front end damage. It is a regular pickup truck that does not have an extended cab. Police state that paint chips and the portion of the insect deflector that were left behind at the scene confirm witness statements.
If you have any information regarding the accident, please contact the Winona Police Department at 507-457-6302 .