By Daniel Silliman
A 68-year-old man was hit by a truck and killed while walking down a dark street, one week after a 36-year-old woman died the same way.
Gene Stuckey, a truck driver, was trying to walk from Walt Stephen's Road to his home on Emerald Drive, according to Clayton County Police reports. Stuckey had parked his commercial vehicle at Walker's Nursery, 2024 Walt Stephen's Road, less than a mile from his Jonesboro home. When he heard his wife was going to be late to pick him up, he reportedly said he was going to just walk.
More than halfway there, nearing the corner of his street, Stuckey was struck from behind by a silver-colored Chevy S-10 pickup, and was immediately killed, according to the police report.
Stuckey was wearing black boots, black slacks, a dark blue jacket with dark red and green sleeves and a dark green, camouflage hat, when he was killed. The 56-year-old man driving the Chevy told police that he didn't see the pedestrian until after he hit him.
Stuckey, hit at about 11 p.m., Thursday, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Exactly a week before, on Jan. 31, Carolyn Seamore, of Atlanta, was hit by a pickup truck while standing on a dark street wearing dark clothes.
Seamore was trying to direct traffic around a disabled car and a minor traffic snarl, outside of Forest Park, according to police reports. Seamore, hit by a white Dodge Ram at about 7:30 p.m., was reportedly thrown about 65 feet and was pronounced dead where she landed.
"We have a lot of these pedestrian deaths every year," said Capt. Greg Dickens, police department spokesman. "It seems like they're always wearing dark clothing, blue jeans and dark jackets and black T shirts. A lot of times, the only light-colored thing the victim is wearing is the tennis shoes, and that blends in with the fog line."
Dickens said that if people are forced to walk along the road in the dark, or stand in a dark street, they should:
· Wear reflective clothing
· Wear light-colored clothing
· Use a flash light
· Use an emergency flare
"I've personally responded to a ton of these," the captain said, "and I've never had a person who was wearing the proper clothing get hit. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I've never seen it."