An 84-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a car while walking April 14 in Sayre, Pa., the latest victim in an endless series of pedestrian crashes that have soared in recent years.

According to a recent study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths have jumped more than 50 percent in the last decade.

Our heart goes out to the family of 84-year-old John A. Marangi, who was killed when he was struck by a vehicle driven by 75-year-old James Readanour on South Elmer Avenue at about 9 p.m. on April 14. Marangi was transported to Robert Packer Hospital, where he later died. The investigation continues, said Sayre Borough Police.

I have been practicing injury law for 34+ years in the Twin Tiers and I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of pedestrians hit by cars and trucks.  Most of the time, the driver says they “never saw” the pedestrian before they hit them.

I think this huge increase in pedestrian injuries and deaths is due to the fact that many more drivers today are distracted by the technology in their cars.

Sometimes the pedestrian was hit because the driver was looking at their phone, sometimes it’s because the driver was trying to follow navigation on their GPS, and sometimes it’s because the drivers were simply talking on their phone.

And there is a solid body of research to confirm that distracted driving is more common and dangerous than ever. For instance, there are a number of studies confirming that even talking hands-free on the phone significantly distracts a driver and impairs their ability to drive safely.

The recent national analysis estimated pedestrian deaths at about 6,590 in 2019, an increase of 5 percent over 2018. It was the most fatalities in more than three decades, the report said.

“Pedestrian deaths were declining for 30 years and then in 2009, a complete reversal of progress became evident,” Richard Retting, director of safety and research for Sam Schwartz Engineering, told The Washington Post. Retting wrote the report for the group, which represents state safety officials.

“Increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night,” the report said, noting that nighttime deaths shot up 67 percent from 2009 to 2018. Deaths occurring during the day were up 16 percent in that period. Now, about three-quarters of all pedestrian deaths happen when it is dark out.

Thank you for reading,


Jim Reed
Managing Partner
Best Lawyers’ “2015 & 2017 & 2019 Lawyer of the Year”

NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
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