Jax among most dangerous cities for pedestrians

Hit-and-run victim's mother aware of road dangers

Published On: Feb 20 2013 12:56:29 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 20 2013 08:21:36 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

When it comes to walking in the River City, Jacksonville is not safe. In fact, it ranks as one of the most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the nation.

AAA says the worst cities for pedestrian fatalities and injuries are in Florida -- Orlando, Tampa and then Jacksonville at No. 3.

Icess Reeves' 15-year-old daughter, Kia Watson (pictured, below), was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver on Mayport Road last month and is recovering with the use of braces.

"The fact that you hit somebody and left somebody there, you really need to have a conscience and come forward, because that's just horrible," Reeves said. "It's an emotional roller coaster, because now she's somebody different. She was OK, and now she's like totally different, like her attitude has changed."

Since the accident, Watson is home-schooled. She will have to wear leg braces for two years because of the damage the car did to her.

"Her legs were all messed up, you could see her bone flesh. It was just horrible," Reeves said.

AAA reports that over the last decade, nearly 50,000 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. Reeves is relieved her daughter survived, but she knows how close she came to losing her.

"I was glad she was alive. That was the main concern. Just glad she was alive," Reeves said.

Police still haven't caught the person who hit Watson.

"If you have a conscience, you need to come forward and apologize and own up to your responsibilities," Reeves said.

The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization is holding five public meetings on the draft version of the North Florida Regional Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan. The organization wants to meet with residents and help these statistics come down.