Police call for driver safety after pedestrian fatality in Livingston Parish

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Tanesia Hawkins is a frequent traveler on major roads in Baton Rouge like Sherwood Forest Boulevard and Burbank Drive and says she always sees plenty of people walking too close to passing cars.

"Especially children running across the highway trying to compete with the cars thinking it's funny just dashing with their friends and I find that to be a big problem," said Hawkins.

That problem was once again in the spotlight Monday morning as Louisiana State Police and Livingston Parish Deputies discovered the body of 27 year old Devin Hammond in a ditch along Juban Road in Livingston Parish.

"Unfortunately there was a pedestrian found on Juban Road and we think he may have been struck by a vehicle and right now the crime lab is investigating to see exactly what happened," said Trooper Jared Sandifer.

The fatality is part of an alarming problem in the state over the last several years. According to figures obtained from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, there have been more than 280 pedestrian fatalities over the last three years in the state.

The number could go up when the figures for 2013 are made final.

Florida Boulevard is another roadway police say has a higher amount of foot traffic and with that traffic comes the opportunity for deadly accidents. Troopers urge drivers and walkers alike to be aware at all times.

"During the New Year's and Christmas holidays, we unfortunately see a spike in the number of pedestrian related fatalities there's a lot more people walking. They may drink and not choose to get behind the wheel of a car but instead walk home and that can be dangerous in itself," said Sandifer.

Hawkins says she doesn't take any chances when behind the wheel, limiting her distractions and making sure she's ready for anything.

"I try to be more attentive like watching I mean your eyes as a driver have to constantly be scanning the streets because you have to drive for yourself," said Hawkins.

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