Second pedestrian dies after downtown St. Pete accident, business owner hoping for intersection changes

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Petersburg police say Darlene Marie Surprenant has died from her injuries, a little more than a week after her husband, Robert, passed away.

The couple was crossing Central Avenue at 21st Street in Downtown St. Petersburg on April 9, when a pickup truck hit them shortly after 8 p.m. The driver of the pickup truck remained on the scene and is cooperating with investigators. They do not believe impairment was a factor.

Al Green owns the Speak Easy Kava Cafe across from where the accident happened.

“He hit them there … came about ten or so feet,” Green says there is poor visibility at that intersection for drivers and pedestrians alike. “You’ve got people hanging out and congregating here, you’ve got those shrubs over there so this intersection right here is really terrible visibility. I really hate crossing it. I hate driving across it.”

Yolanda Fernandez, a spokeswoman for the St. Petersburg Police Department, says the case is open and because detectives are still investigating, she can’t comment on the case. But she says, in general, drivers need to pay special attention on weekend nights.

“Whenever you’re driving in downtown St. Petersburg, you have to really pay attention to the pedestrians, the scooters, the bike riders,” said Fernandez, who adds pedestrians also have a responsibility. “When we’re in downtown or any other place with a lot of commerce you have to pay attention to. Yeah, you may have the right of way if you are in the crosswalk, but you also have to be aware that not they may not be able to see you.”

Green hopes something can be done to improve the intersection.

“Even if one of these two sets of scooters could be moved to another corner, and not directly across from each other, that might be nice, and definitely I would love one of those light-up crosswalks. “

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