Waco family pleas for safety upgrades after man's death

Waco family pleas for safety upgrades after man's death
Posted at 7:21 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 20:21:55-04

A Waco husband and father of two will be laid to rest on Saturday. 

Ralph Barnett was hit by a car while walking on New Road last weekend. His family said they don't want anyone else to die on that dark road.

Only the glow of police lights can be seen on the New Road via-duct west of Hiland Drive last Saturday night.

"It's very dangerous. Very dangerous. Period," said cousin Laura Cooper.

Ralph died on the dark walk to Walmart.

"His smile, the jokes, being Ralph," is what Cooper will miss the most.

The driver who hit him stopped to help, but it was too late.  Ralph's family said it was too dark, too dangerous and more lives could be lost.

"He got hit right there where a light should have been," said Cooper.  "I feel if maybe it was lit up, maybe it would prevent somebody else's death," said Cooper.

"Life is precious," said Beverly Hills Police Chief Thomas Schmidt.

Chief Schmidt said there are no sidewalks on the portion of New Road where Ralph was walking, and he was wearing dark colored clothing at night.

"It takes a tragic incident for people to wake up and realize you know ‘hey, look there are people out here that are walking,’" said Chief Schmidt.

He urges pedestrians to wear a safety vest while walking at night.  Try to stay off the road and walk against traffic so you can see the vehicles coming toward you. 

The chief said he will work with the city to see what can be improved.

"Hopefully they will.  By the grace of God, I hope they will," said Cooper.

No charges were filed against the driver who hit Ralph.  The Waco Metropolitan Planning Organization is working toward zero pedestrian deaths in the city.

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