43-year-old pedestrian killed in accident on Gordon Highway

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:04 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:21 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The second pedestrian this week has been killed in an Augusta crash – the latest in a local outbreak that reflects a national trend.

On Friday morning, the coroner’s office identified the pedestrian killed the night before as Tabitha Grooms, 43.

According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the 1600 block of Gordon Highway in reference to a fatal accident involving one vehicle and one pedestrian.

Officials say the call came in at 6:21 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the sheriff’s office.

The pedestrian death is the latest in a deadly year in Richmond County.

2020 was the highest year for pedestrian deaths here, but we’re on track to surpass that.

And this latest one happened on a problem thoroughfare in Augusta.

Of 54 pedestrian deaths from 2018 to 2023, three hotspots are Gordon Highway, Mike Padgett Highway and Peach Orchard Road.

Just Monday, a pedestrian was killed in a crash on one of the other hotspots, Mike Padgett Highway.

Pedestrian deaths are on an upswing nationwide.

According to a national report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 7,500 people walking were struck and killed by automobiles in 2022, the highest number since 1981. The spike was attributed in part to an increase in larger vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks on the road.

And the accidents may increase as the weather gets colder.

A new study released Monday found every state outside of Iowa has seen an increase in the percentage of fatal crashes involving pedestrians in the winter months in recent years.

The study found Georgia ranks No. 6 in the increase of pedestrian deaths during winter, seeing a 4.3% jump.

The LendingTree study analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.