Dangerous stretch of Camelback Road could see changes

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dan Tilton is mourning the death of his 21-year-old son, Matthew.

Tilton's wife was the last family member to talk to Matthew before he was hit by a car while crossing Camelback Road around 11:30 p.m. on April 11.

"He said, 'Dont go to Saddlebag. There's too many people, there's too much commotion, people trying to get cabs, people standing. I'd like to have you just go to where you dropped me off before on the north side of Camelback, and I'll meet you there,' " Tilton said. "All of a sudden, the phone went dead. Seconds later, she saw him, his body down, and he had been hit by this car, thrown 40 feet, and then landed on his head on the concrete."

Matthew went to Scottsdale's bar district to watch a game. He knew he'd have a couple drinks so he had his mom drop him off and pick him up.

He died two days after the accident.

"There has been a couple of incidents where along Camelback Road specifically we've had a pedestrian hit," said Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department.

Another incident left a girl with injuries to her leg after she was hit on a dark stretch of Camelback Road between Miller and Scottsdale roads.

"It's very dangerous. People lose their lives down here," said Bill Crawford of the Association to Preserve Downtown's Quality of Life.

Camelback is a five-lane, busy street with homes and parking on its north side.

"People running back and forth. Everybody likes to park here on this side of the road," said Walt Passolt, who lives in the area.

The city of Scottsdale is looking into ways to fix this deadly problem.

"To see if we should change the speed limit or not, to see if we should add traffic signals or not," said Scottsdale Transportation Director Paul Basha.

But Tilton wants answers soon, before this stretch of street next to Scottsdale's bar district takes another life.

"I don't have any words for it. It's horrible. It's just horrible," Tilton said.

The driver who hit Matthew was not intoxicated. Tilton said the driver simply did not see his son as he was approaching the sidewalk.