Destin Pedestrian Killed: Woman Identified in Fatal Accident

Destin, Fla. - A Lake Charles, Louisiana woman was killed after being hit by a vehicle early this morning, while crossing Highway 98 in Destin. Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident that took place around 3:00 a.m.

Tragedy struck again early Wednesday morning in Destin. A female pedestrian was hit by a vehicle and killed, while attempting to cross the street at the cross walk. In the last week alone, two people have been hit in Destin. 

"We had a pedestrian who was crossing near this intersection here and was struck by a vehicle that was traveling east," said Sergeant Joseph 'Jason' Fulghum, Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

Margaret Beck was unresponsive this morning when deputies arrived at the scene, near Highway 98 and Stahlman Avenue. 

"The one we have today, is obviously still under investigation. Preliminary, it looks like she may not have been in the cross walk, but we are not 100 percent sure of that yet," said Sergeant Fulghum.

In recent accidents, OCSO officials told us, the pedestrians were either not using the cross walk or not using it properly. 

"They didn't have the lights activated. We're seeing a lot of that, where the people are actually utilizing the cross walks but, they are not pressing the button prior to going across," said Sergeant Fulghum.

Sergeant Fulghum explained, it's not only distracted driving that is causing pedestrians to be hit. 

"To play off of a coined phrase, 'distracted walking.' We are getting people who are getting hit, pedestrians who are getting hit, because they're talking on their cell phone or texting, and not paying attention to where they are walking," explained Sergeant Fulghum. 

"As a pedestrian, you don't realize how hard it is sometimes for cars to see you, especially at night," said Luke Brohm, tourists from Kentucky.

One of the pedestrians we spoke to, shared that she knows from personal experience the importance of using a cross walk. 

"I was hit a couple years ago and it was very important to go by that. And I see people and how they don't even use the cross walks, like (the cross walks) aren't even there," shared Alondra Hogans and Keira Lowe, locals.  

"A girl in my class, actually got hit at a cross walk in Lexington. So, ever since then, I've kind of always been like, use cross walks, they are the way to go," said Brohm.

This accident makes it a total of three pedestrians who have been hit since May. Two of the pedestrians are still in critical condition. 

The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.


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