Photo of front of SUV showing contact damage to hood, grille, and bumper.

​Front of SUV showing contact damage to hood, grille, and bumper.​

Fatal Pedestrian Collision with Sport Utility Vehicle

What Happened

​On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, about 11:25 p.m., a 2001 Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle (SUV) was traveling east on State Highway 50 in the Town of Geneva, Walworth County, Wisconsin. The SUV was in the right eastbound lane and, according to the 44-year-old male driver, was traveling at the posted speed of 55 mph. At the same time, a 54-year-old female was walking east in the right eastbound lane of the highway, just past Chapin Road. Shortly after passing through the intersection with Chapin Road, the SUV struck the pedestrian. The pedestrian rode onto the vehicle’s hood and collided with the right leading edge of the roof, just above the windshield. She also struck the right side of the SUV’s roof-mounted luggage rack before falling to the ground behind the moving vehicle. The pedestrian then traveled along the pavement about 175 feet before coming to rest on the solid white line (“fog line”) separating the right traffic lane from the right shoulder. The SUV driver applied his brakes, and the vehicle came to rest on the right shoulder of the highway about 350 feet east of the impact area. The pedestrian was fatally injured. The SUV driver was not injured.

​The temperature at the time of the crash was 66.2°F, winds were coming from the west-southwest at 3.5 mph, and the sky was cloudy. The sun had set at 7:52 p.m., civil twilight had ended at 8:22 p.m., and the moon was 96 percent illuminated.

What We Found

​The probable cause of the crash in the Town of Geneva, Wisconsin, was the pedestrian’s decision to walk in the travel lane with her back to traffic. Contributing to her poor decision-making was impairment from the effects of alcohol intoxication.​