May 24, 2013 10:07 PM by Erika Flores
TUCSON - 82-year-old Dorothy Penrod was visiting from Texas to watch her granddaughter receive her High School diploma.
After the graduation, Penrod and her family walked across the street in front of Mountain View High School and were struck by an SUV.
Her nephew is in the hospital fighting for his life.
The accident happened south of Linda Vista on Thornydale.
Brandon Smith was caught up in the traffic on Thornydale just after the accident.
"I actually saw the fire truck come flying by and the ambulance come flying by," said Smith.
Smith said just about every year after a graduation, the streets in front of Mountain View High School get congested.
"It's usually a mess. A lot of people don't know where they're going, and it's just a mess," said Smith.
And he said not everyone uses a crosswalk.
"It was a lady in a wheelchair. It's horrible," said Rachel Beeson who lives nearby.
Firefighters said Penrod and her family crossed Thornydale 600 feet away from the nearest crosswalk around 9:30 Thursady night.
"We always want people to use crosswalks eventhough it might be out of the way and it might be cumbersome to get to a crosswalk," said Sheriff deputy Jesus Banuelos.
Investigators said the driver was driving 40 to 45 miles per hour and tried to stop before impact.
Deputy Banuelos said the best way pedestrians can protect themselves is by crossing streets by crosswalk in lighted areas.
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