Residents blame faulty signals and reckless driving for fatal hit-and-run

OXON HILL, Md. -- Residents with homes and businesses along the intersection of Saint Barnabas and Wheeler Roads have said that the area has been the scene of multiple fatal crashes involving pedestrians and other vehicles.
While some say things have gotten better over the years, others say faulty signals and a lack of penalties for reckless driving in the area are to blame for the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 27-year-old Kenard Hawkins.

“The cars don’t really too often pay attention to the pedestrians going through. You’re likely to get hit. I had a dog that got hit a couple of times. It’s not a safe place for anybody really.”, said pedestrian, Roderick Brown, who walks the busy stretch of road 
everyday.

According to police, Hawkins lost his life while walking in a crosswalk when police said that a white pick-up truck was making a left turn, hit Hawkins and kept going.
Brown said he was there the night Hawkins was killed as emergency crews were taking him away.

“Another one… that’s what was going through my head.", said Brown, "Like, when I first moved in here, there was a small memorial right there for something that happened to someone over there. So, I’m guessing that people get hit here a lot.”

In fact, neighbors say at least two people have been killed right on the corner,being thrown into a resident's front yard.

“People running the red light trying to make it through… people doing everything right here.”, said Lamont Walker who said that he has been dropping off his sister’s kids at a daycare along the busy intersection and said that he  has almost become a victim himself.

“For three months, I almost got into a crash… I almost got hit like three times coming from that way and turning around, trying to get out of here, they try and rush through the light or come across here trying to make a turn.”, said Walker.

The daycare owner who would not speak with me on-camera, said the traffic signals are always out, causing confusion for drivers, and claims the crosswalk signals are also faulty.
She said that speed camera’s should be installed there to deter people from reckless driving.

While reports have surfaced that the intersection where Hawkins was killed has an incomplete pedestrian signal system installed, officials from the Maryland State Highway Administration have said that all existing pedestrian crossings that existed at the intersection prior to a $5 million dollar project that began in 2014 aimed at upgrading traffic and crosswalk signals there, were and are currently completely operational and the incomplete work consists of upgrades to replace the older crossings.

“If they had a flashing light, it’d be way different. it’d be way different ma’am… if it was a police here, it’d be way different.”, said Walker.

The project includes a five-mile stretch of St. Barnabas Road with three other intersections currently under construction.
The Maryland State Highway Administration will hold a meeting this Wednesday to come up with a work schedule to complete the project.