A young man was struck and killed while crossing Route 22 in Bridgewater, New Jersey Sunday night, police say, marking the fourth pedestrian death on the stretch of road in the last five months.
The victim in Sunday's incident has not been identified, but police say he was between 20 and 30 years old. He was in the center lane of traffic when he was struck, police said. The driver in the crash has not been charged.
The three other young people recently killed on the same roadway were also struck while walking on a one-mile stretch of Route 22 West.
"It's a horrible road," said Dylan Ahlert, who frequently drives there. He noted the speed limit says 55 mph, but he knows people are going faster than that, especially when they've just exited I-287, a larger highway with a 65 mph speed limit.
"I own a business in town, we go down here constantly, the traffic is horrible," he said.
Making matters worse, there are restaurants, car dealers and gas stations on both sides of the highway, people complain. On the three-lane highway, drivers are constantly merging and exiting on the left and right.
"It's a lot of traffic, and people aren't paying attention," said Mike Anastasi, the owner of Bridgewater Diner, near where three of the people were killed. "It's been happening, and it's going to happen again if they don't do anything about it."
Despite the string of pedestrian deaths, the owner of a nearby gas station says he still sees people continue to walk across the highway.
"It's very dangerous," said Bakshish Kumar of Valero gas station. "It takes 20 to 30 minutes to cross the highway. You have to cross three lanes of busy traffic. And they run."
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has promised to make the section of Route 22 safer for both drivers and pedestrians, with better lighting and wider shoulders for cars getting on and off the highway.