Victim wants change at intersection

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First at Five, March 11, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A local woman says she knows first-hand how dangerous the intersection at 15th Street and Laney Walker Boulevard is. She was hit by a car there, at the same intersection where a medical school student died.

"I jumped back but I didn't jump back far enough," said Norma Miller, remembering the day she was hit by a car at the intersection of 15th Street and Laney Walker Boulevard.

"I had two broken legs, had a separated shoulder. My jaw was broken. My nose was broken," she said. She also suffered short-term memory loss.

She was walking across the street, when she says a car was trying to catch the light and hit her.

It was a nearly a year and a half ago, but she's still going to physical therapy.

"I'm just happy to be alive," she said.

Another person did not survive, though, and this latest accident brings back memories for Miller.

Tuesday, a city bus hit a 29-year-old medical student, Ji Cheng, in the intersection. Officers say she died instantly.

"What happened to Mrs. Cheng, it's really sad and it devastates me," Miller said.

Norma says the intersection is dangerous and wishes they'd learned a lesson after her accident.

"I'm angry now because I feel like something should have been done a long time ago," she said.

She still uses those same crosswalks to get to work at MCG and says she's scared every time.

"The people, they're in a hurry, ready to get to where they have to go and they're not paying attention," she said.

She thinks there should be an elevated crosswalk or maybe even a tunnel to make it safer for pedestrians.

"Everybody has a fear of crossing this street," Miller said.

She says another way to make the intersection safer is to stop all traffic at the same time. She says this will let pedestrians cross without worrying about drivers going when they're not supposed to.

"You think you'd be safe in a crosswalk but you're not," she said.

And she says that won't change, until something changes there.

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