MEMPHIS, TN— Nearly a dozen people have been injured or almost killed in automobile accidents in Memphis throughout the summer. Memphis is ranked the number six most dangerous city in the country for pedestrian safety. Many cities across the country cars yield when pedestrians are at crosswalks. In Memphis there is no such law and it's like dodging bullets when crossing the street. One runner can attest to that.
Austin Selby is a survivor.
"I'm going to run a marathon this fall and my doctor told me I wasn't going to do that anymore so that's exciting,” said Selby.
If you saw Selby today you may not think he had a broken leg and arm. He was in a hospital bed for months and had to use crutches. A speeding car ran him over in 2010 while Selby was running along Central Avenue. Memphis Police say the driver was texting.
"It's quite frightening to hear the crashing and screeching," Selby stated as he remembers the crash.
Selby isn't the only who came close to death. Saturday morning two women were hit by a car after leaving a nightclub called “Senses” in Midtown. According to reports, one woman flew into the air and the other victim landed on top of a car. On July 8th,a man was run over after walking in North Memphis near Hollywood and Blue Road and who could forget Adrienne Spates. She's accused of running over Shannon Parker and her friend in Cooper Young on May 20th. Spates didn't appear apologetic about her driving when confronted by abc24 news a few days after the accident. She greeted us by slapping her buttocks and slamming her door, refusing to speak with us on camera.
"Divers don't seem to care,” said Austin’s wife Monica. “Sometimes people are in the middle of the road where they don’t belong but is it worth killing them? Or putting them in the hospital?"
All the victims in the past few months have survived but it hasn’t been easy, just ask the Selbys.
"We had so much physical therapy my insurance decided to stop paying for it,” Austin told abc24 news.
"We've had to deal with some post traumatic stress from our 3 boys and just some anxiety when daddy goes out for a run now," said Monica Selby.
Councilman Lee Harris is trying to make it safer for people crossing the road. He wants to pass an ordinance requiring motorists to stop when they see a pedestrian at a cross walk. That's already a law in many states but not in Tennessee.
"You have all these folks at these marked cross walks just waiting to cross the street, they're waiting until it's safe and when they actually venture out the street they really kind of have to kick it up and start running," said Councilman Lee Harris.
The Selby's think passing that ordinance is a good idea but believe drivers and pedestrians alike need to respect the rules of the road.
"I think there's responsibility on every side,” said Austin.
Austin Selby is training for the New York City marathon this November. He runs 50 miles a week. He's also the Arlington High School track and cross country coach.
The “pedestrian protection” ordinance is scheduled to be heard before the Public Safety committee on Tuesday July 24th.