Steamboat Springs While a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident remained under investigation Wednesday evening, police said motorists must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks in all situations.
A 77-year-old Steamboat Springs man was hit by a pickup at about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday while walking across U.S. Highway 40 at Pine Grove Road. The man was flown to Denver on Wednesday afternoon with significant head injuries. Police withheld the man's name because of medical confidentiality laws, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said.
The driver of the white GMC pickup was Craig resident Terry Tomey, 48, who was heading east on U.S. 40 when he attempted to turn south onto Pine Grove Road and struck the man.
"He walked right out in front of me," Tomey said. "I have no idea where he came from. I didn't even see him standing on the corner."
Tomey said he had made a complete stop at the light and didn't begin turning until the light was green.
Initial reports indicated the man was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center with minor injuries after the accident, which Rae described as "very low-impact." The man apparently sustained the head injuries when falling to the ground, Rae said.
The man was conscious and responsive when taken to the hospital. Rae did not know the man's condition when he was flown to Denver, and he did not know whether the man sustained other injuries.
Rae said whether the walk signal was lit did not change Tomey's obligation to yield.
"All drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, so technically the driver should have yielded to the pedestrian, whether it was a walk signal or not a walk signal," Rae said.
The investigation is ongoing. Rae said citations for Tomey could range from nothing, "to failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, to careless driving." The latter two are traffic misdemeanors.