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Couple struck on New Year's Day walk in Montgomery County

Authorities in Montgomery County have been raising warning flags about pedestrian safety lately. The impetus for the alerts appears to be a rash of accidents between Dec. 6, and Dec. 9 in which 12 pedestrians were struck by cars. Two of them died.

The incidents sparked such concern about possible personal injury and wrongful death that on Dec. 12, police came out with safety guidelines on what pedestrians could do to keep themselves safe. Most of the suggestions dealt with the dangers of walking in the street or on roads. Walking on sidewalks didn't get a lot of attention. Who about being struck by a car when they're walking where they're supposed to?

That might be what has been going through the minds of an elderly Kensington couple since a confrontation with death on New Year's Day. According to police, the couple was walking along Summit Avenue in the bright light of mid morning when a car jumped the curb and hit them. Richard Whalen, 77, and Dorothy Whalen, 74, suffered serious injuries and were rushed to the hospital.

The driver of the car, a 68-year-old Germantown woman was hospitalized with less serious injuries. As of the writing of this post there's no new word on how any of the three are doing, or whether any charges have been filed in the case.

The accident is not isolated. As we've noted, there were the accidents early in December that prompted police to launch their awareness effort. There's also the case of a 59-year-old Silver Spring man. Police say he was waiting for a bus on Veirs Mill Road on Dec. 17 when a car left the road and killed him. Another pedestrian was killed on Veirs Mill Road later that night.

Source: The Washington Post, "Car jumps curb, injures couple in Montgomery," Martin Weil, Jan. 2, 2012

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