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Long Term Solution for Beach Safety
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WPMI) State Highway 182 along Alabama's beaches is proving to be deadly for pedestrians. In less than a week police say two people have been hit and killed by drunk drivers. Last week it was a spring breaker visiting from Oklahoma State University. On Saturday police say 44-year-old Taylor Colby of Tennessee was struck and killed.
The difference in what happened last week in Gulf Shores and what happened on 182 is that police say Colby was crossing the beach highway when he was hit.
"For us and for our police, our job is to always do our best starting with speed limits try to keep them in check with speed. If they are swerving we will pull them over," said Ken Grimes with the City of Orange Beach.
Police say 57-year-old Danny Pylant of Spanish Fort was driving drunk when his vehicle hit and killed Colby. Other visitors like Jim Thompson who heard of Saturday's accident say walking along the bike paths on Alabama 182 is risky.
"Because people do crazy things and accidents happen quickly, so you have to keep your eyes open and your mind open and watch what you are doing," said Thompson.
Sidewalks would be the safest solution. The cost would be in the millions of dollars.
"When a new development comes in they are required to put in landscaping but also to put in sidewalk connectivity. Over time 10 years, 20 years from now all those sidewalks will be connected. When you see a sidewalk in a section in front of a new development eventually it will be connected to the next piece," said Grimes.
Connecting sidewalks based on new construction will take time. For now pedestrian crosswalks will have to do.
Those who do the walking or the riding will have to be aware.
"I'm always trying to think ahead. I'm looking ahead, I'm looking to the left, to the right, I'm looking out my peripheral vision. I just very, very conscious of what's going around me because of the traffic and because things happen so quickly," said Thompson.