Deadly hit and run sparks discussion on need for sidewalks

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-09 23:34:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the search continues for the driver who hit and killed a mother while she was walking to work in South Nashville, discussion ramps up on bringing more sidewalks to the city.

Metro Police said Kimberly Cox, 38 was walking on Apache Trail with her teenage daughter when she was hit by a car. The driver took off, and Cox died at the scene. Her daughter was not injured. Both women were walking on the side of the road facing traffic, which is required by a Metro ordinance because there is no sidewalk.

Mother hit, killed while walking with daughter; police searching for driver

People who live and work along the busy road said it can be dangerous.

“It’s always been constant traffic and speeding and no regard for pedestrians at all,” said Cindy Cannon, who has worked at the Apache Trail Animal Hospital for four years.

Officials from Walk Bike Nashville said Cox was the 29th person killed while walking in the city this year, and that was a new record.

“The numbers should be declining and they are increasing and we are really concerned about it,” said Lindsey Ganson with Walk Bike Nashville. “There’s infrastructure and enforcement that can prevent pedestrian deaths and save lives.”

Ganson said more sidewalks across the city are a big part of the solution. She said having a separate safe space for pedestrians is ideal. Since it gets darker earlier in the day in the Winter months, many roads can be dangerous for pedestrians.

“Having sidewalks and crosswalks makes it more predictable for everyone,” said Ganson.

Metro Nashville leaders are working to address the issue with a new special committee on sidewalks. The committee met for the second time just hours after Cox was killed. Officials from various Metro departments are presenting ideas on how to build sidewalks across the city.

“Cost is definitely part of it,” said Emily Benedict, Metro Council Member for district 7 and Chairwoman of the Special Committee on Sidewalks. “Especially in the current budget climate we’ve got in the city.”

Benedict said the committee was scheduled to meet again on Dec. 18 and Jan. 9 and 23. She was hopeful concrete solutions would be found and presented to Vice Mayor Jim Shulman by Jan. 31.

“We’ll have the information and hopefully, subsequent to that, the political will to make changes, so we can get more sidewalks more cost effectively and efficiently.”

Metro police said the car that hit Cox was possibly a Nissan with damage to the front passenger side. Anyone with information on the vehicle or driver is encouraged to call the Emergency Communications Center at (615) 862-8600, Hit and Run investigators at (615) 862-7713 or Crime Stoppers at (615) 742-7463.