Update: Call for traffic safety measures after elderly pedestrian killed in crash

The setting sun played a role in an elderly pedestrian being killed in Langley on Thursday.

Langley RCMP are confirming that the glare from the setting sun caused visibility issues for the female driver who hit two elderly Langley residents, killing one of them around 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4.

Investigators do not believe alcohol or speed were factors in the collision.

An 83-year-old man died after being rushed to hospital and his 81-year-old wife remains in hospital after the crash on 72 Avenue.

It happened in front of numerous witnesses at the intersection of 198B Street and 72 Avenue. There is no crosswalk or traffic light in the area.

RCMP said a westbound sedan collided with the elderly man and woman, while they were crossing 72 Avenue from the north side of the road to the south side.

Both victims were airlifted to hospital where the man died.

The woman sustained non-life threatening injuries and remains in hospital for treatment, RCMP said. She is expected to be released in a few days.

The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and was co-operating with RCMP.

The 72 Avenue road has become a busy arterial for residents in the area as development has been unprecedented in the East Clayton and Willoughby slope area.

Despite such an increase in population, the municipalities of Surrey and the Township have done very little to accommodate the growth. There are no crosswalks or traffic lights in the area, and there are several open ditches.

In April 2013, a 19-year-old woman suffered serious injuries when she was struck in a hit-and-run crash in the 19700 block of 72 Avenue.

The driver left her lying in a ditch.

Her boyfriend  was walking home and heard her cries for help, saw that it was his girlfriend and called 911. That case remains unsolved.

Resident Gary Hee started a petition for better traffic safety measures in the area, calling the 196 Street intersection a “suicidal corner of town."

It's where a young boy was hit while rollerblading last year.

Hee started a petition asking for better traffic calming in the area. He pressed both municipalities to put in a traffic light at 196 Street and 72 Avenue.

In January, the Township had approved a traffic light to go in at 196 Street but nothing has been installed yet.

A call for a marked crosswalk at the intersection of 198B Street and 72 Avenue has come in the wake of Thursday's fatal crash.

Langley Township council was expected to hear a delegation Monday night, after The Times' press deadline.

The written submission by area resident Teresa Blades noted 72 Avenue has no marked crossings between 192 Street in Surrey and 200 Street in Langley.

"The area in which the accident occurred is often used by children to cross the street to get to their school bus stops as well as average citizens who walk to neighbouring businesses," Blades said.

"There are no sidewalks and the width of roadway between what cars drive on, and the ditch, is only a couple to a few feet," Blades added.

Blades said westbound traffic in the area reduces from two lanes to one at 198B street, creating a "funneling effect that also increases danger to the pedestrians on the north side" while on the south side, a property under development forces pedestrians to "walk within the eastbound lanes."

Anyone who witnessed the collision and has not spoken to police is asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

— with files from Dan Ferguson

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