‘On this side of town, it’s normal': Two deadly crashes just minutes apart involve West Side pedestrians

San Antonio police say 46 people have died after being struck by a vehicle this year in the city

SAN ANTONIO – Two deadly crashes happened minutes apart on San Antonio’s West Side Wednesday night. The first crash happened on West Commerce and South Zarazamora Street.

According to San Antonio police, 66-year-old Juan Manuel was crossing West Commerce near South San Joaquin Avenue when he was hit by a small SUV.

Police said Manuel was not using a crosswalk. The incident happened steps away from where Christina Mendez and Samantha Cuellar live.

“Unfortunately over here on this side of town, it’s normal,” said Mendez.

Cuellar believes drivers are a big part of the issue.

“They don’t slow down for the kids, not even for an elderly person trying to cross the street,” said Cuellar.

The second crash happened off Culebra Road and North Zarzamora Street, where a man was killed when he was crossing the street.

Police said the driver stopped to help and didn’t face charges, but the man was also not using a crosswalk.

Daniel Gonzalez said the roads are just too dangerous and crosswalks don’t make him feel any safer.

“They don’t slow down one second. You’re putting your life on the line right there,” he said.

Linda Sorola believes it’s a common issue in her community with no solution.

“I sure would like to see something done though. This area has been neglected as long as I can remember,” she said.

San Antonio police told KSAT that 46 people have died after being struck by a vehicle this year in the city.

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales released this statement regarding the concern:

"The District 5 community is deeply saddened by the pedestrian fatalities that occurred on Wednesday. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of both victims.

The West Commerce and Culebra areas where the fatalities happened are a serious concern for me well as for the neighboring community, SAPD and city planners. Incidents like these are the reason I brought the Vision Zero initiative to San Antonio.

Our goal is to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries -- while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.

I’ll be consulting with SAPD to review the incident reports to determine what measures can be taken immediately to avoid future tragedies," she said.

RELATED: Series of crashes involving pedestrians keeps San Antonio accident investigators busy

About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.