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Residents demand safety changes after YCSO sergeant involved in fatal pedestrian crash

Posted at 10:30 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 01:30:17-04

YARNELL, AZ — A community is pushing for safety changes after a 74-year-old woman was hit and killed by a car while crossing the street in Yarnell. The driver behind the wheel, according to officials, was a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office sergeant.

Residents gathered for a meeting at a community center for nearly two hours. The occupancy limit as noted on a wall in the room, is 49. Even more than those in the meeting were outside listening and calling for action.

"Look at our town. This is a racetrack and a lot of California cars," said one resident.

The Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes says one of his sergeants hit Donna Gordon as she crossed Highway 89 near Post Road.

The sergeant, according to the sheriff, was in his patrol car and headed home from work. Rhodes called a meeting to hear from people in the community.

A woman who has lived in Yarnell for 35 years told the sheriff, a Yavapai County supervisor and an ADOT representative, drivers don't go the posted 35 miles per hour on Highway 89.

"When I pass that sign that gives your the speed limit, people go 55 miles per hour and they don't slow down," said another resident.

She would like to see a speeding camera installed. There's also been a push for crosswalks and added lighting. But, former law enforcement officer Robert Smith wants more.

"We need a presence. We need people stopped and citations written," Smith said.

ADOT promised the agency would first look at possible changes that could be done.

The Chamber of Commerce also weighed in, saying in memory of Gordon, the chamber is working to help make safety enhancements.

As for the deputy, he is not charged, but is on paid leave. It is unknown if speed or other factors played a role in the crash.