Man killed while walking dog on the Greenline identified - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man killed while walking dog on the Greenline identified

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

A car crashed into a person who was walking his dog on the Shelby Farms Greenline near the intersection of Princeton Road and Waring Road.

Thomas Wilson, 69, was pronounced dead. 

Police are investigating what happened. The van that hit Wilson has been towed. The woman who was driving the van remained on the scene. It's unclear if she was speeding; she was given a citation for driving without insurance.

Wilson's dog was not injured. Memphis Animal Services took the dog; it's unclear what will happen to the dog.

Those who use the trail said they are concerned about its safety.

"Very busy. Yes, there's a hill and people don't pay much attention to anything," cyclist Michael Warren Gates said.

If you walk, run, or ride your bike for exercise or recreation, it's the kind of accident that sparks your worst fears.

"I've been hit twice," Gates said. "Once on a bike and once walking."

"Cars have stopped for me before, but I tell them to go on because other cars coming behind them might not stop, and I'd just rather it be all clear," cyclist Lisa Daniel said.

People enjoying the Greenline on Tuesday morning were shocked to learn the man had been hit and killed while walking his dog.

"I'm devastated," Lyn Grimmig said. "Number one, we need speed bumps. See how fast this car is going."

Memphis police said there were no witnesses to the crash, but there may be video.

"We are checking with our real time crime center to see if imaging was captured to help with this investigation," Lt. Col. Eddie Bass said.

Gates hopes the deadly crash will encourage both drivers and those walking or riding to pay more attention.

"I'm real careful," Gates said. "I have flashers on my bike and about half the time they notice it, the rest of the time they don't."

"I still keep an eye out and watch out for myself," cyclist Kate Basar said. "I was raised in Chicago, and I know that you have to be an advocate for yourself."

Many people are now calling for changes on and near the Greenline. 

"If they could put a red light and have a button for the people to push," Grimmig said. "It'll be a 100 percent safer."

The number of pedestrian-related fatalities in Tennessee have increased.

"There's been a spike statewide, especially in the Memphis area," Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Chris Richardson said.

THP said statewide there have been 67 pedestrians killed so far this year, compared to only 65 this time last year. They're urging everyone to be more vigilant.

"They cannot drive distracted period," Richardson said. "Distractions is anything that takes your eyes off the road, or your mind off driving, the same thing goes for pedestrians."

Shelby Farms Park Executive Director Jen Andrews released the following statement:

"Our thoughts are with all those involved and affected by this tragic incident."

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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