Tucker and Park Crash Last Night
I witnessed the aftermath of the horrible car crash at S. Tucker and Park Ave in the LaSalle Park / King Louis Square area.
According to news reports, the crash happened about 6:15 PM. A look at "Safe City" confirms the first call was made at 6:15, with subsequent calls at 6:17 and 6:20.
The bus I was riding passed through the area about 6:25. Emergency vehicles were still in the process of responding, but police had already blocked all traffic southbound on Tucker at Hickory, causing a detour via the newly built sections of Hickory and 13th, to Park then through the rather tight new roundabout at 14th, south to Lafayette then back to Tucker. So, I was about a block away, at 13th and Park, when I got my best view. And it was dark.
Nevertheless, it looked quite bad. The car (according to the news, a Dodge Neon) was still smoky, and appeared to have flipped into the grass near LaSalle Baptist Church. I had a feeling something really bad had occurred.
It infuriates me that the people in the (probably stolen) Volvo that hit the still unidentified woman's Neon ran away. Reports said they headed west on Park, then north on 14th. That's in the general direction of the Clinton-Peabody public housing complex, so I'm sure the police were out in force last night in that complex. Of course, they could have just as easily kept running north, across the viaduct into downtown and hopped onto MetroLink at Civic Center.
This is the same intersection where a guy crashed into a police van and then sped away just after midnight Sunday morning. And according to Safe City, there have been about a dozen accidents there in the past several months.
This stretch of South Tucker is practically a highway. It's really wide, carries a lot of traffic at rush-hour, and many, many drivers on Tucker run that red light, especially southbound after passing the slight curve at Hickory.
Meanwhile, another police-van involved crash happened, also yesterday, at Gravois and Utah. This was somehow related, according to the news, to a police chase after a carjacking at Potomac and Virginia near Gravois Park.
People really need to stop stealing cars! And, it would probably be a good idea to stop driving into police vans. Aren't they kind of hard to miss?
I just hope I'm never involved in one of these kind of accidents - although given how often they're happening, it seems like it's not unlikely I could be. Even if my car was stolen and then involved in a fatal accident, I would feel tremendously guilty.
And, by the way, the "H.E.A.T." program would do nothing to stop these kind of incidents from happening in the late afternoon and early evening hours - i.e., right after school lets out.
Admittedly, a lot of the young people involved in these activities probably don't attend school on a regular basis. So, maybe increasing the mandatory schooling age to 18 and stepping up truancy patrols would be the only way - short-term - to make an impact.
Long-term, of course, we need more and better after-school activity options, and more parental involvement to stop this from happening in the first place. But I recognize, that's easier said than done.