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Fatal pedestrian collisions in Kern match 5-year high

KBAK/KBFX photo

Fatal collisions involving pedestrians have matched a five-year high in 2017, according to the Kern County coroner.

There have been 40 pedestrians killed so far in 2017, up from 34 in 2016.

The problem isn't only local. Pedestrian deaths rose 6 percent nationwide last year, according to data gathered by CBS News.

Bakersfield police have been called to more fatal collisions involving pedestrians each of the last four years.

"Human flesh is soft, and vehicles are hard," said police Sgt. Ryan Kroeker. "Those types of things are very difficult to see."

There are many factors that contribute to severe collisions, but Kroeker said nearly every single case has a common thread: Rules were broken.

"Whether it's driving too fast, whether it's running a red light, whether it's walking outside of a crosswalk, whether it's crossing a street inside a crosswalk against a red," he said.

Statistics show very few purely random or unavoidable accidents kill pedestrians.

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