Man dead after hit-and-run on Roosevelt Blvd. in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia

Police recovered a bumper for evidence and are checking area surveillance cameras.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Man dead after hit-and-run on Roosevelt Blvd. in Rhawnhurst
Man dead after hit-and-run on Roosevelt Blvd. in the Rhawnhurst section of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As police investigate a fatal hit-and-run on Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia officials push for continued safety measures on the dangerous stretch of road.

"Roosevelt Boulevard isn't just one of the most dangerous roads in Philadelphia, but it's one of the most dangerous roads on the East Coast," Nicole Brunet, the policy director for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, told Action News during an interview Monday.

Just after midnight on Monday, Philadelphia police say a 42-year-old man was hit by a car as he was in a crosswalk on Roosevelt Boulevard near Revere Street.

When police got on the scene they found the man unresponsive in the northbound middle lane. Police said he died at the scene. His identity has not been released.

Police say the driver fled the area. But, at the scene, police found a bumper that led them to believe the car involved was a 2010-2015 Toyota Prius.

The investigation is ongoing.

City officials said this fatality is yet another reminder about the work that needs to be done to keep people safe along Roosevelt Boulevard.

Our 6abc data journalism team found Monday's incident is the 10th fatality and the fourth fatal hit-and-run on the Boulevard this year.

Rich Lazer, the executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, told Action News, "We need to make sure the road is safe for pedestrians, other motor vehicles and bicycles."

Lazer spent Monday in Harrisburg advocating for the automated speed camera program along Roosevelt Boulevard to stick around.

The program, which was launched in June 2020, has allowed for 40 speed cameras in 10 locations along the road.

Any driver who goes 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit will receive a violation starting at $100.

"The money that is generated by the camera enforcement goes to PennDOT and then goes back to the city to make improvements on the Boulevard," Lazer explained.

Since it was implemented, Lazer said the city has seen a 36% decrease in crashes and a 95% decrease in speeding violations along the Boulevard.

The speed camera program is set to end in December.

Lazer said he has received support to extend it from politicians on both sides of the aisle, PennDOT officials and Philadelphia police.

He said they hope to know if the program will be extended within the next month.

He also told Action News the Philadelphia Parking Authority would like to launch a similar speed camera program along other dangerous stretches of road in the city.

In January, Mayor Jim Kenney and Senator Bob Casey announced the city had been awarded $78 million from the infrastructure bill to work on the Boulevard.

This is all in addition to the Boulevard speed camera program which the city believes is why crashes on the Boulevard dropped 36% since being installed.

The planned improvements are broken down into a few categories outlined in the city's "Route for Change" report published in 2021.

Some of the plans include giving buses their own lanes, improving pedestrian safety by repainting walkways and extending curbs, working on intersection safety by improving traffic lights, and extending crossover lanes.

Brunet said those improvements are necessary to cut down on tragedies, like Monday's fatal hit-and-run.

"It's clear that we need more than just the speed cameras. We need those infrastructure improvements to reduce the ability for people to speed and drive as recklessly as this person did," Brunet said.