Pedestrian Hit, Killed On Nolensville Pike

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-23 16:34:15-04

A 66-year-old male pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle on Nolensville Pike.

The wreck happened near Welshwood Drive just before 10 p.m. Friday.

Authorities said the pedestrian who was killed has been identified as 66-year-old Kris Hansen.

An investigation revealed the driver of a 2001 Nissan Sentra, identified as 26-year-old Jonathan M. Leaidicker, of College Grove, struck Hansen who had been standing partially in the middle turn lane and one lane of travel.

According to Leaidicker, he hit his brakes when he saw Hansen and swerved slightly; however, he added he was unable to avoid hitting Hansen due to the traffic around him.

Officials said it’s believed Hansen had been walking from the westbound side of Nolensville Pike to the eastbound side. Reports stated Hanson was possibly going to board an MTA bus that was at the bus stop.

Authorities confirmed there was no sign of impairment on the part of Leaidicker. No charges have been anticipated; however, he was cited because his insurance lapsed earlier in 2017.

In the hours after the crash, dozens of pedestrians could be seen crossing the road outside of the crosswalk to access two bus stops, including the stop Hansen was walking toward. Many pointed out the lack of crosswalks near the stops.

"There isn't a good way to get across," said Marie Walters, who lives nearby. "You just have to take a chance when there's no traffic and hurry across the street. I've had several close calls."

Following the fatal wreck, Walk Bike Nashville called on Metro and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to take action at that intersection, which they said has been "long known to be [the] most deadly pedestrian crossing in Nashville."

They released the following information on Sunday:

"Walk Bike Nashville sends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of Kris Hansen, who died Friday night crossing the road on Nolensville Pike near Welshwood Drive. This tragedy represents the 7th pedestrian fatality since 2010 at this location, which has been identified as the most dangerous for people walking in Nashville.

As one of the most heavily used bus stops in the city, the Walmart Stop on MTA Route 52 serves over 700 people getting on or off the bus every day. In 2014, a Public Works Safety Study[] identified this area as one of the highest pedestrian crash locations in the city between 2010 and 2014. Three years and three pedestrian deaths later, this location remains exactly the same. The lack of response to a street known to be deadly is unacceptable.

On July 15, Walk Bike Nashville, with community partners Conexión Américas and the Salahadeen Center, kicked off a campaign to improve pedestrian conditions on Nolensville Pike from Paragon Mills to Harding Place with a Community Walk Audit. In addition to the lack of safe crossing at Welshwood Drive, the community identified barriers within sidewalks, gaps in sidewalks, inaccessible push buttons, and obstructed stop signs, amongst other obstacles to pedestrians.

Nora Kern, Executive Director of Walk Bike Nashville, says, 'It’s devastating to see another person killed walking at a location that Nashville and TDOT have know for years is unsafe. We consider the current status quo unacceptable and request immediate action to be taken to ensure no more community members are lost.'"