Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 | 5:10 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 | 10:35 p.m.
Hours after a woman died and a child was critically injured in separate wrecks on opposite ends of the Las Vegas Valley, Metro Police issued a plea Tuesday afternoon urging travelers to be more careful on area roads.
"I can't overemphasize the need for safety when walking or driving," Capt. Mark Tavarez said during a press conference addressing a string of six fatal wrecks that began Nov 9.
The child hurt Tuesday morning was not using a crosswalk when he was struck by a Nissan Altima at North Lamb Boulevard near Bonanza Road about 7:35 a.m.
And the fatal wreck about two hours later occurred when the driver of a Mercedes-Benz C300 attempted to make a left turn at Buffalo Drive from eastbound Spring Mountain Road without noticing an oncoming Nissan Titan. The pickup plowed into the C300’s passenger side.
Both drivers and a 68-year-old woman riding in the C300’s passenger seat were rushed to University Medical Center, where she died. The driver of the Mercedes-Benz, 76, and the driver of the Nissan, 46, were both listed in serious condition late Tuesday.
The accident marked Metro’s 95th fatal wreck this year, down by five compared with the same time period in 2012. Out of the 95 killed this year, 37 were pedestrians.
Tavarez said serious accidents can be easily avoided if people pay more attention to the road and avoid distractions such as cell phones.
"People are not paying attention to what they are doing," Tavarez said. "The most frustrating part is that (fatal accidents) are preventable."
He reminded pedestrians to wear bright, reflective clothing now that the sun sets earlier.
"Winter clothing is usually dark," Tavarez said. "Be sure to wear reflective colors and make eye contact when you cross the street."
The burden of road safety is largely on drivers and pedestrians — not just on cops, Tavarez said. He noted that traffic officers generally concentrate on areas with high collision rates when they can spare the time.
"The emphasis (for safety) is on everybody," Tavarez said. "This agency can only do so much."