Crosswalk lights broken where 21-year-old died trying to cross Riverview street

WATCH: A young man was killed in Riverview Monday night, and Global News has learned that the lights at the marked crosswalk he was in have been broken for months. Global’s Alex Abdelwahab reports.

RIVERVIEW, NB – The lights at a crosswalk where a young man was struck and killed Monday night have been broken for months, according to neighbours in the area.

Stephanie Parker, who lives in the house directly in front of the crosswalk, told Global News she had been calling the town of Riverview since February to get it fixed.

“Can you please fix the light? I have to cross the street with children,” she said she told the town. Parker cares for children between one and 10 years old in her home.

“My older son crosses the street by himself. I usually stand with him to make sure he is safe crossing.”

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On Tuesday, wires were hanging out of the area where the button should have been, with black duct tape partially covering the wires. There was also only one overhead crosswalk sign covering half the street.

Parker said it had been that way since a vehicle hit the other pole of the crosswalk, now removed, in February. She said whenever she called, town staff told her to walk down the street, about 800 metres, to the next closest crosswalk.

“I have a crosswalk in front of my house,” Parker said. “I should be able to use that crosswalk.”

Codiac RCMP confirmed a 21-year-old man was struck and killed by a van around 9:40 p.m. Monday night while he was trying to cross that crosswalk.

Sgt. André Pepin said the man was walking with his brother and was returning back from a visit to a convenience store at the time.

“We have the collision analyst that went to the scene to determine the cause of the collision,” Sgt. Pepin said. “At this time we know that alcohol was not a factor.”

Pepin said the victim died at the scene, while the driver and passenger in the van were not injured. The name of the victim is not being released.

In a phone interview, Meghan Walsh, spokesperson for the Town of Riverview, told Global News the town is aware that the crosswalk light was not working.

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“We have been actively working to replace the necessary parts on that crosswalk since February. It takes time,” she said. “The piece that is missing is the arm that extends over the midway part of the crosswalk, and of course the activation button, which was removed with the pole that damaged in an earlier accident.”

She added that while there was still lights over part of the road, they had no power.

Walsh said in the meantime that intersection reverted to being a marked crosswalk, but acknowledged there was no release that went out to the public indicating this. There also are not any signs in the area warning motorists that the lights are not working.

“The town is supporting the RCMP’s investigation,” Walsh said. “Until that investigation concludes and more information becomes available, we’re taking time to review our internal traffic management processes.”

“I know that that accident last night was preventable,” neighbour Shawn Durelle told Global News.

Durelle says he’s observed an increase in traffic and people in the area because of a new subdivision built in the last five years. He said that even though the speed limit on that part of the street is 60 kilometres an hour, he’s seen vehicles travelling through at a much faster speed. 

“That should have been a priority to have that fixed right away because of the amount of traffic, because of the amount of people that are crossing the street,” he said.

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