Man hit by car while crossing against traffic signal critically injured

Posted at 3:39 PM, Oct 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-16 18:58:43-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A man is fighting for his life after he was struck by a car while crossing in a crosswalk against the light in West Valley City Saturday night.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Decker Lake Drive and 3500 South, and police first heard report of the incident at 9:27 p.m.

Lt. Steve Burke, West Valley City PD, said several cars managed to avoid the pedestrian before he was struck.

“He was crossing against the light from the north side to the south side,” Burke said. “It’s my understanding that traffic in the far left lane was able to stop for him, a vehicle in the middle lane swerved around him, and the vehicle that was behind that vehicle…didn’t see him and hit him as he came eastbound here.”

Burke said the man suffered critical injuries.

“We’re just kind of waiting to see if he’s gonna pull through or not,” he said. “Definitely life-threatening [injuries].”

Sunday police identified the injured man as 57-year-old Joseph Radka.

Burke said while the man was in a crosswalk, several witnesses reported the man was crossing against the light.

“It is very sad, all he had to do was wait his turn,” Burke said.

Police are still investigating the crash, but Burke said at this point the witness statements lead them to believe the driver that struck the pedestrian wasn’t doing anything wrong at the time.

Authorities say, regardless of the right of way, drivers should be looking out for hazards.

“You always gotta drive very defensively, even if you have the right of way, to avoid things like this you got to drive very defensively,” Burke said. “Look out well ahead of your vehicle so you can see those hazards that are coming at you.”