COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The coroner is asking for help identifying the victim's next of kin, and citizens are rallying for ways to prevent future crashes.
Eyiloni Bonner, 55, was hit by an SUV and killed at about 6 p.m. along the side of 2nd Avenue Wednesday evening. Mac Cantrell, a witness to the crash, says accidents and crashes like this one happen too often along 2nd Avenue.
"The body was laying directly behind a bust stop sign where the bench is and it was pretty apparent that she was killed on impact," Cantrell recalled, who was right behind the 2003 Ford Eddie Bauer. He says he sees pedestrians walking into traffic in the heavily traveled area often and adds that sometimes those incidents end in tragedy.
"And you think how careless and reckless, but this was different and it gives me a new mindset on it," added Cantrell.
Cantrell said the driver of the SUV was not speeding and, in the darkness, neither he nor the driver saw the pedestrian step into the road.
Kim Jenkins, executive director of Open Door Community House, said yesterday's crash offered a harsh reminder.
"There was one night in particular several years ago, it was our Thanksgiving banquet here and a gentleman - it was dark, time had changed - and he got hit," explain Jenkins. "I observed that one and I truly will never forget the look on his face. It was a look of horror and terror."
Jenkins estimates seeing nearly a dozen crashes in her time serving Open Door Community House. Now, she's joining forces with Cantrell and others to push for improvements in the quality and safety of the road.
"I think the most sensible and the most cost effective one would be the proper lighting out here," Cantrell suggested.
"We'd love to see cars slow down in this area," Jenkins added. "More access for crosswalks. If that means adding traffic lights to make that happen or certainly brighter lighting."
The Muscogee County Coroner's Office is asking for anyone who may know Eyiloni Bonner to contact the coroner's office at (706) 225-3260.