2019 pedestrian deaths outpacing similar fatalities for last three years, SAPD says

25 pedestrians killed by vehicles in San Antonio in 2019

SAN ANTONIO – The deaths of two pedestrians this week in San Antonio has pushed the number of pedestrian fatalities through early June higher than in the same period for the past three years, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

Rosalinda Portillo, 67, was struck and killed Monday as she crossed the street in the 900 block of McCullough Avenue near downtown. Richard Alfrido, 55, died after he was hit by a vehicle Tuesday night in the 10000 block of San Pedro Avenue. 

The two victims are two out of 25 pedestrians killed by vehicles through June 6, according to SAPD statistics, which outpaces the deaths from 2016 (23), 2017 (10) and 2018 (22) during the same period. 

For the entire year, SAPD said, 60 pedestrian fatalities were recorded in for 2016, 48 in 2017 and 50 in 2018.

The year-end numbers from SAPD differ from those of provided by Transportation & Capital Improvements, which oversees Vision Zero San Antonio -- a plan to eliminate city roadway fatalities. 

A TCI spokesman attributed the differences to different methods of compiling data.

In any case, the department's interim deputy director, Art Reinhardt, said the city hasn't achieved its goals yet.

"Looking just year-over-year, it's difficult to gauge a trend. But the bottom line is there's still a lot of work to do," he said.

Reinhardt said the Vision Zero initiative, which the city adopted in 2015, takes a multi-pronged approach to curbing roadway deaths.

"What we've been doing is focusing on various components, such as the engineering aspect of it, the education aspect, encouragement and definitely enforcement, as well," he said.

The city is not the only group to take steps aimed at protecting pedestrians. 

The Texas Department of Transportation opened a pedestrian bridge over U.S. Highway 90 between Loop 410 and West Military Drive in May. The project stemmed from concerns about people being hit as they tried to cross the six lanes of high-speed traffic. 

There have been at least six crashes in the area involving at least two pedestrian deaths since 2011, said TxDOT San Antonio spokesman Hernan Rozemberg.

"You're really literally playing Frogger out there," Rozemberg said.

Reinhardt said there are steps that drivers can take to avoid crashes, such as not driving distracted or speeding.

"You know, we're driving a 3,000 pound object, and we have to be aware that there could be people walking ... trying to get to that closest point to them," he said.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.