An automobile struck and critically injured a 21-year-old man while he crossed a stretch of Nicholson Drive known for heavy foot traffic because of the several bars, restaurants and apartment complexes in the neighborhood.
The accident occurred just after 3:30 a.m. in the 4400 block of Nicholson, near East Boyd Drive, Bob Pettit Boulevard and Jennifer Jean Drive, police Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
Police found the injured pedestrian lying on the pavement, McKneely said. Paramedics took the man to a hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The 22-year-old driver of the BMW that hit the victim tested negative for alcohol and was not arrested, McKneely said. The accident, however, remains under investigation.
Several other pedestrians have been hurt in similar incidents on nearby East Boyd, a narrow two-lane road flanked by shallow ditches that stretches seven blocks from Highland Road to Nicholson.
A 21-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were injured early Oct. 13 in a hit-and-run incident on the road. A Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck pulling out of a nearby restaurant’s parking lot hit the pair. The driver of the truck surrendered to authorities 12 hours later.
Two men walking across the 700 block of East Boyd Drive about 2 a.m. March 18 were hit by a white Chevrolet Impala. One man suffered serious injuries and the other minor injuries, police reported.
As a result of such incidents, the city-parish is building sidewalks along both sides of East Boyd from Nicholson to Burbank Drive.
The $175,000 project, which began in late June, most likely will be completed in October, said David Guillory, Department of Public Works’ interim director.
The 4400 block of Nicholson where Friday’s accident occurred is similar to East Boyd in that it also lacks sidewalks and also is flanked by shallow ditches.
Putting down sidewalks along East Boyd has been “pretty simple,” Guillory said.
Doing the same on Nicholson would not be as easy, since the road is heavily traveled and is maintained by the state.
The state Department of Transportation and Development would need to get involved in the project to upgrade Nicholson, if such a project would ever gain approval, Guillory said.
Also, funds would have to be found to pay for installing sidewalks.
Although talks are not currently in progress regarding a Nicholson Drive upgrade, Guillory said, his department is “concerned about public safety” areas where pedestrian traffic is high.
In the meantime, McKneely encouraged people crossing Nicholson near East Boyd, Bob Pettit and Jennifer Jean to use the crosswalk at Bob Pettit and Jennifer Jean.
The pedestrian hit early Friday did not use the crosswalk.