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Pedestrian hit on public square and survives to tell her story

Recalling the terror and pain of the accident last fall on Columbia's public square, Emmi Foster said, "I saw the bumper of the car aiming at me, and had only a second for the thought to flash in my mind, "he's going to hit me!", before I felt the blow to my lower body."
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By Linda Waggener

In a state where the law says "pedestrians in the crosswalk have the right of way", it simply does not feel that way to many people on Columbia's public square who report having problems. We have so much work to do to make it safer for people to walk here.

People have been injured over the years. People have been killed on our square. Thankfully, Emmi Foster survived, and is willing to share her story of being struck by a car, resulting in serious injuries, in hopes of helping save other people from being hit in the future.


Her message is that traffic needs to be slowed way down around the square.

It happened to her where Campbellsville Street/KY State Highway 55, joins the public square, She was in the crosswalk, moving from the Courthouse Annex side of the square to the flower shop on the opposite corner.

She remembers that she was wearing a light blue blouse and held a purple umbrella because it was drizzling rain, not pouring hard enough to keep her inside, but enough to carry her umbrella -- she felt she should have been easy to see.

She said she saw the bumper of the car aiming at her, and had only a second for the thought to flash in her mind, "he's going to hit me!", before she felt the blow to her lower body. She said, "I was hit by the car head on, it knocked me down, bloodied my head, it was horrible, I thought I was dead." She had to have 18 staples where her head was injured and when we talked she was still going to doctors to find what internal injuries she may have sustained, causing her continuing problems.

She said, "Sandra Rowlett was so good to me, she came out of her real estate business (on the Annex corner) and helped me so much -- she said she saw the whole thing from her business and it was not my fault."

It seems simple to Emmi Foster, she feels the driver of the car was just trying to speed through to get on his way, not paying attention for anyone who might be trying to cross in the legally marked crosswalk.

She also was disappointed when she saw the police report which she felt didn't reflect enough investigation as to what might have added to the cause of the hit. She didn't find where the vehicle driver was screened for DUI, cell phone use, "nothing, she said. "Two sentences -- unit 1 this, and unit 2 that. They even had me lying in the road facing the wrong direction when I was hit."

Not long after her accident, she said she'd heard that Shannon Rowe was hit in the Burkesville Street crosswalk on the opposite side of the public square, his motorized wheelchair was allegedly dragged by a truck that had to be flagged down by another driver because the wheelchair must not have been visible to the driver.

Neither of these accidents show up in the state highway department statistics which show that the public square has had only one injury in 12 years. Many people who have had firsthand experience can prove those statistics wrong and we question where the breakdown in communications can be.

Recent advice from DOT that will begin to help on that side of the square: bring traffic back to one lane on Burkesville Street, and ask police to enforce the 25mph speed limit on it.


This story was posted on 2017-07-24 08:45:53
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Emmi Foster shares story after being hit in Columbia crosswalk



2017-07-24 - Columbia KY Post Office - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.

Thankfully, Emmi Foster survived being hit by a car while crossing Campbellsville Street last fall on the Public Square in Columbia, and is willing to share her story in hopes of helping save other people from being hit in the future. People have been injured over the years. People have been killed on our square. A recent quote from a KY Department of Transportation representative said statistics show only one injury accident on the square in 12 years. She is here to prove the statistics wrong.

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