DENVER (KDVR) — Pedestrians in wheelchairs are asking drivers to do more to keep them safe while they’re on sidewalks and crosswalks after a fatal crash on Monday at Broadway and Third Avenue.
“We’re losing lives over it,” said Jaime Lewis, who is in a wheelchair himself.
He said drivers can literally overlook pedestrians in wheelchairs.
“When a person is in a wheelchair, they’re sitting about three to four feet high,” Lewis said.
Last year, Tim Campbell was killed in his wheelchair in a crash at Colfax Avenue and Irving Street.
Allen Cowgill was a friend of Campbell’s, and he placed a “ghost chair” at that intersection.
“I thought it might be appropriate to remember Tim that way and call out how dangerous the street is so people might slow down a little bit here,” Cowgill said.
A cyclist himself, Cowgill said the hazard for pedestrians is constant.
“It just feels like nothing’s changed in the last year that this continues to happen,” Cowgill said.
Lewis said that he’s a member of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition.
“Well, it’s frustrating because it happens over and over again,” Lewis said.
The group’s goal is to encourage change, politically and among drivers.
“When people drive like that, you’re putting people in danger,” Lewis said.
One thing Lewis said drivers can do when they’re behind the wheel is to establish eye contact with pedestrians when they’re crossing the street.
“Especially at intersections,” Lewis said.
The risk is something Lewis said he always faces, estimating 10 to 15 times a week.
“I run into an incident where somebody either pulls in front of me or does something erratic at least once a week,” Lewis said.