Driver charged with hitting Richmond runner on Broad Street
RICHMOND, Va. — Police charged a 27-year-old driver accused of driving off after she struck a runner near the VCU Siegel Center in Richmond. Sammantha Jennings was charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor reckless driving.
Jennings was granted bond Wednesday and was released from jail. Attempts to contact Jennings at her home were not successful.
The runner, who was training for a marathon, survived and is recovering from multiple post-crash surgeries.
Jennings allegedly struck the runner Saturday, August 12, at about 8:43 a.m., at the intersection of Broad Street and Harrison Street.
Police said the runner was in the crosswalk when the driver ran a red light.
“I think everybody has a role to play,” Louise Lockett Gordon, with Sports Backers, said when asked about crashes involving drivers, runners, and cyclists. “I think the biggest role, certainly when we’re out driving, is making sure we’re following all the traffic lights, stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, that we’re focused and not paying attention to our phone.”
Richmond is in the process of installing hundreds of new ‘high visibility’ crosswalks around the city to replace conventional crosswalks. High-visibility crosswalks feature painted bars across the street as opposed to standard crosswalks with two single white lines.
Video from the intersection outside the VCU Siegel Center show high-visibility crosswalks in that part of Richmond.
The new crosswalks were of the Vision Zero Initiative, which aims to eliminate injuries and fatalities on the road. The goal is to completely eliminate road-related fatalities by 2030.
Jennings next court date is scheduled for October.