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Intersection of fatal accident has dangerous reputation | News

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Intersection of fatal accident has dangerous reputation
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Just days after a teenage bicyclist was struck and killed by a car in a Montgomery County crosswalk, WUSA9 returned to the scene of the accident to see if anything had changed. 

The crosswalk is at the bottom of a hill on Viers Mill Road at Turkey Branch Parkway. The intersection connects a popular trail on both sides of the street. 

Jimerson Figueroa has to cross five lanes to get to the other side of Viers Mill Road. 

"They don’t see people like stopping and they just go," Figueroa said. 

WUSA9 saw one car stop at the crosswalk, but a car in the other lane barreled past.

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"They probably didn’t see me or they thought that they could have went faster," Figueroa said.  

Heart-stopping moments like this happen multiple times every day at this crosswalk. Compounding the danger: the fact that pressing the button at the crosswalk flashes lights at the top of the hill, about 100 yards away.

"The light is not in front of the path. It’s way up there. I think people doesn’t notice," Cristina Quico, a nearby resident.

The speed limit here at this intersection 45 miles per hour, but our speed gun clocked one driver at 63. Another at 59. Many slowed down when they saw us.

"Drivers, you have to look out for pedestrians. If you see people stopped at crosswalks, you have to stop," Montgomery County Police Captain Tom Didone.

Maryland law is clear: drivers must stop at crosswalks if anyone is waiting to cross. But police say it’s safer if everyone looks out for each other.

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"Pedestrians, you can’t assume that drivers see you, especially at night. Bicyclists too. Wear as much reflective gear as you can," Capt. Didone said. 

Bill Branson wears a neon yellow helmet and clothing while riding his bike to help protect himself.

"I’m a biggie on bright stuff. I don’t care what you look like, as long as you’re bright. Pink, anything bright. The people need to see ya," Branson said. 

Montgomery County Police have done several sting operations at this very crosswalk and ticketed drivers who didn’t stop. Captain Didone contacted the State Highway Administration right after that bicyclist was killed. Once again, he urged the agency to put flashing lights or something at this crosswalk to prevent another tragedy. 

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