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Colorado pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled since 2008, study finds

Darkness, speed and alcohol are most often the cause, according to a AAA study.

DENVER — At the intersection of Morrison and Lowell Boulevard stood a memorial filled with teddy bears, balloons and toy trucks for the little boy that will never be able to play with them.

Three-year-old Lyndreth Sage Antone was hit and killed by a driver on New Year's Eve. 

The video above from Jan. 9 speaks to the measures Denver is taking to reduce pedestrian fatalities.

Annual pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled in Colorado since 2008, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and AAA Colorado. 

The study says Colorado's 89% increase surpasses the 55% nationwide increase over that span. Across the country, 2018's death total was at its highest level since 1990.

A few days after Sage's death, his uncle and godparents stood by his memorial and prayed his death wouldn't be in vain. 

"I know just a few years back they put a street light and crosswalk, and that helped tremendously," said Tim Peterson, Sage's godfather. "I don't know if reaching out to bureaucratic city officials of power before it happens again." 

Pedestrians killed at non-intersection locations without crosswalks rose 70% from 2009-2018, the study says. Most deaths occurred in urban areas along major roads with large volumes of traffic, says AAA Colorado.

RELATED: Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run, police asking for help finding vehicle

"That pedestrian deaths here outpace the national average should ring alarm bells," said Skyler McKinley, director of public affairs for AAA Colorado. "As we continue to grow, drivers, pedestrians and, most importantly, governments need to do more to protect our most vulnerable."  

AAA Colorado also points out that Black and Hispanic pedestrian-related deaths increased by a larger amount than white pedestrians.  

McKinley suggests the following to help lower pedestrian-related deaths: 

  • Increased vigilance in drivers, in urban areas, and at night 
  • Increased vigilance in pedestrians when crossing
  • Lowering speed limits 
  • Changing roadway design to meet the needs of  pedestrian heavy areas

"The bottom line is that everybody has the same right to use our transportation infrastructure without fearing for their life," said McKinley.

RELATED: Pedestrian in northbound lanes of U.S. 85 struck, killed

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