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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Driver hits, kills pedestrian on West University Avenue

Witness saw body covered in white cloth

A male pedestrian died after being hit by a vehicle outside of the Seagle Building Friday evening, police said.

A vehicle traveling east on West University Avenue struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road without using a crosswalk around 10:47 p.m., Gainesville Police Department evening shift commander Lonnie Scott Jr. said.

The victim wasn’t a student, UF spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said.

Police haven’t arrested the driver as officers continue to investigate as of Saturday evening, Scott said.

Laila Fakhoury, a Gainesville resident and co-founder of nearby store The How Bazar, said she saw the aftermath of the accident — a body covered in white cloth and a vehicle pulled off of the road on the sidewalk in front of a tree.

West University Avenue has seen repeated accidents and pedestrian injuries in the past few years. 

For instance, UF student Mackenzie Mullen was hit on her scooter near University Park Arboretum March 17.

Another crash killed one UF student — Sophia Lambert — and injured four others who stood on a sidewalk near West University Avenue Jan. 16, 2020.

A month earlier, Maggie Paxton died in a hit-and-run crash after crossing 2000 W. University Ave., the intersection between Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Emerson Alumni Hall.

The collisions are a result of Gainesville’s inadequate walkability measures, Fakhoury said.

“The city making the area as walkable as possible, especially in a downtown area, is just extremely necessary,” Fakhoury said.

Additional lighting and wider sidewalks, she said, would keep pedestrians on the street and make it easier for drivers to see them.

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GPD Traffic Homicide Investigators are investigating the incident.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Aidan Bush contributed to this report.

Contact Mickenzie Hannon at Follow her on Twitter @MickenzieHannon

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Mickenzie Hannon

Mickenzie is the local elections reporter and previously covered city and county commission for The Alligator’s Metro Desk. She's a fourth-year journalism major and is specializing in data journalism. When Mickenzie isn’t writing, she enjoys watching horror movies, reading, playing with her pets and attending concerts.

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