NewsOperation Safe Roads


Wheelchair-bound hit-and-run victim says drivers act like he's 'invisible'

Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-15 09:15:32-04

Nelson Pacheco can't move like he used to. The 56-year-old was a carpenter by trade until a construction accident took away his mobility two years ago. Though he's still fairly new at navigating life in a motorized wheelchair, he learned one thing very quickly.

"I've had a lot of close calls. I'll be crossing in the crosswalk, and a car will turn wide, beating me across," he said. 

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Pacheco said one of those close calls was this week at 1st Avenue and Van Buren Street in downtown Phoenix. But last month at 67th Avenue and Union Hills Drive in Glendale, it wasn't just a close call,
he says he was hit and the driver never stopped. 

"She took off the front of my scooter and ran over my feet then headed northbound on 67th Avenue," Pacheco said. "She just sped away faster and faster." 

Pacheco didn't get a good look at the license plate. He just knows it was a dark-colored sports car, like a Camaro, with a white stripe. He said he left the scene to catch a bus home, then called Glendale Police.

"Because I didn't stay in that physical area, they would not take the report because both parties left," he said.

Pacheco hopes what police will do is crack down on drivers who are breaking pedestrian-related traffic laws. He also wants to remind drivers to pay attention when approaching crosswalks, and not just at what's at eye level.

"They don't see us because we are lower and they are much higher," he said.