Senator blasts VA over pedestrian safety

VA hospital in West Haven.

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After a pedestrian was struck last Thursday on the VA Hospital campus, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is blasting the West Haven VA facility over safety issues for walkers.

“Clearly, more needs to be done to make this facility site,” said Blumenthal.

Several pedestrians have been hit at the intersection on the campus over the last few years. News 8 obtained exclusive surveillance footage showing the moment when Dr. Betsy Schulman was walking in to work in December of 2014. She is called in to the intersection by a crossing guard, then seconds later is run down by a driver. Her lawyer plans to file suit against the VA Hospital soon.

Related Content: Another person hit by car at VA

“That intersection is inherently dangerous,” said Gregory Cerritelli, Dr. Schulman’s attorney. “Our info is that to date, five people have been struck at the intersection. One of them resulted in a fatality.”

In 2013, an elderly man was struck and killed by a driver at the intersection.

“Pedestrians have to be made more visible, separated from traffic and protected with signs and guards.”

Nearly two years ago, a federal traffic study was completed. Several recommendations were made, like raising the pedestrian crosswalk and creating a turning lane out of the main parking lot. Those recommendations have not been implemented, according to Cerritelli.

“I will demand a report from the VA, but also action to complete the recommendations that have been there since 2014,” said Blumenthal. “Clearly they ought to be finished.”

Several attempts to reach the VA spokesperson over the last several days for comment were not returned.

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