OKLAHOMA CITY - Close friends of a crash victim said more can be done to make an intersection safer for pedestrians.
Police confirm Frank McCoy, 38, was killed this weekend after he was hit by a motorcyclist while crossing the street on Western Avenue near 42nd Street. Officer Megan Morgan with the Oklahoma City Police Department said speed is being considered a factor but they are unsure exactly how fast the rider of the motorcycle was going.
The motorcyclist was listed under critical condition at last check, according to Morgan.
Seth Lewis, a long-time friend of McCoy, described the crash as a "senseless act."
"Oklahoma City is a tight community, and he [McCoy] was definitely was a huge part of that. His laugh, his smile, his humor – a great friend and father," Lewis said. "The fact that the motorcycle was going so fast at an insane rate is not normal but, even with daily traffic, I feel like Western Avenue still needs so much improvement for pedestrian safety to help make our city a walk-able city."
The speed limit is posted on Western Avenue as 25 miles-per-hour. Even so, shop managers nearby told us it's not uncommon for motorists to disobey the speed limit.
"Cars just, they speed, and motorcyclists speed up the street at night," said Stephanie Humes. "A lot of people, I think, are used to coming up this corridor going a lot faster than they should be."
Over the past three years, public information officer for Oklahoma City Public Works Shannon Cox said more than $1 million has been spent to improving pedestrian safety.
"We did a major streetscape in the area back in 2015, where we added medians to each end of that district to help slow down traffic to make it more pedestrian friendly. We also narrowed the lanes, so that’s supposed to bring the traffic speeds down as a traffic combing device," Cox said.
Friends of McCoy, including Heather Hernandez, told News 4 she's witnessed other crashes in the area while working at the Sipango Lounge on Western Avenue. Hernandez worked there for about eight years.
"In that time, personally, I’ve seen three people, three pedestrians hit by cars. Something’s got to change. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the first person who lost their life, but it never should have happened," Hernandez said.
Despite recent efforts from the city, Lewis said he believes more could be done.
"Like whether it’s raised speed bumps, raised walking areas. Some cities have, when you walk by, your speed is flashing," he said. "The speed limit is 25 mph on this road, and you can see, even now, cars are going by at rates that seem to be faster."
Cox said speed bumps are not allowed within city limits on public roadways though private roads are a different story. However, she said suggestions for improvements are always welcome.
"As far as speed limit signs that were lit up and things like that, they can certainly take that to the traffic commission – that would be something they could actually consider. There are options for those," she said. "There’s not much we can do when that rate of speed is being utilized on a city street – there’s probably nothing we could have done."