Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cyclist dead after being hit while crossing North Bridge in early-morning incident

No criminal charges have been filed at this time

Posted by Heath Ellison on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 5:16 PM

click to enlarge Cosgrove Bridge connects West Ashley and North Charleston - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • Cosgrove Bridge connects West Ashley and North Charleston
Charleston police are investigating a fatal collision involving a cyclist and automobile on the Cosgrove Memorial Bridge early Wednesday morning. At approximately 5 a.m., a minivan in the northbound lane struck a bicyclist, who was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, according to police.

The bridge that connects North Charleston and West Ashley has three lanes of traffic in each direction, but no pedestrian walkway. Cyclists and walkers are often seen walking along the small median dividing the six lanes of traffic.

The victim's identity has not yet been released. No criminal charges have been filed at the time.

Wednesday's death is the fourth traffic fatality to be investigated by CPD in 2020. "This is a tragic reminder for drivers and pedestrians to share the responsibility of being alert and aware of your surroundings, and for all pedestrians and bicyclists to utilize safe and legal practice when traveling the roadways," a spokesperson said in a press release.

Charleston's high rate of pedestrian fatalities has been noted in the past several years. A 2018 report from the S.C. Department of Public Safety counted a total of 26 pedestrian deaths between 2011-2016.

In November, the federal DOT granted $18 million to build a pedestrian bridge between West Ashley and downtown, a critical connection that will eventually provide the first safe passage across the Ashley River.

But incidents like Wednesday's show that there is still work to be done, advocates say.

"Everyone deserves safe access over the North Bridge, no matter the transportation mode," Charleston Moves director Katie Zimmerman told the City Paper on Wednesday. "Fatalities and injuries to people walking or biking over the North Bridge are entirely preventable by providing safe and connected spaces."

Charleston Moves is working with a coalition of groups and Charleston County for an updated study on the North Bridge. The expect that request to go in front of County Council in July.

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