Deadly car vs. pedestrian accidents on the rise across Valley

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The Valley saw a few deadly crashes involving pedestrians during the past week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Valley saw a few deadly crashes involving pedestrians during the past week. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Shari Irionwas jogging with a friend last week when the two women were run over by a truck at the intersection of Elliot Road and Val Vista Road in Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Shari Irionwas jogging with a friend last week when the two women were run over by a truck at the intersection of Elliot Road and Val Vista Road in Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On Tuesday, another pedestrian was killed when he was run over near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Tuesday, another pedestrian was killed when he was run over near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
On Wednesday morning, a woman on a bike was killed when a truck ran her over near 36th Street and Baseline Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Wednesday morning, a woman on a bike was killed when a truck ran her over near 36th Street and Baseline Road. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Shari Irion is in the hospital fighting for her life when she should be teaching classes at the Fit Body Boot Camp in Gilbert.

The 53-year-old fitness coach was jogging with a friend last week when the two women were run over by a truck at the intersection of Elliot Road and Val Vista Road in Gilbert.

Irion was airlifted to a trauma center, while her friend Carrie Brown was killed.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 1 pedestrian dead, 1 critical after being hit by vehicle in Gilbert]

The deadly crash is a stark reminder of how dangerous Valley streets can be for pedestrians and bike riders.

"I've almost been struck several times here in Phoenix," said pedestrian John Smith. "It's outrageous that people ignore pedestrian traffic."

"It is dangerous because they'll just turn the corner and be right on top of you," said pedestrian Joanne West.

A recent study by Smart Growth America ranks the Phoenix metro area as the 16th most dangerous place for pedestrians in the country.

On Tuesday, another pedestrian was killed when he was run over near 19th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix.

[READ MORE: Police identify victim of deadly hit-and-run collision in north Phoenix]

On Wednesday morning, a woman on a bike was killed when a truck ran her over near 36th Street and Baseline Road.

[READ MORE: Woman riding bicycle hit, killed by truck]

Sgt. Alan Pfohl spent 12 years in the Phoenix Pole Dept's vehicular crimes division.

He said that many of these deadly accidents are caused by distracted drivers, talking or texting on their cell phones.

Another problem is pedestrians not using crosswalks.

"Our recommendation is to always keep your head on a swivel and always be looking for traffic," said Pfohl. "Always use crosswalks and wait for the green signal light. If you don't do any of those three you are increasing your chance of getting struck by a vehicle."

A fundraiser is being held for Irion Wednesday night at the Fit Body Boot Camp gym located at 3821 E. Baseline Road in Gilbert.

A YouCaring account has been set up to help the Irion family.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.   

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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