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Driver Hits Woman in Crosswalk, Charges Pending

63-year-old Justine Valla was walking along McAdoo Street Tuesday morning when a 2007 Toyota Prius driven by 47-year-old Richard Oden came around the corner on "H" Street and hit her in the crosswalk.
LITTLE ROCK- A woman is fighting for her life after being struck by a car in a crosswalk.

63-year-old Justine Valla was walking along McAdoo Street Tuesday morning when a Toyota Prius driven by 47-year-old Richard Oden came around the corner on "H" Street and hit her in the crosswalk.

Sgt. Cassandra Davis says Oden was taking his son to school. "There is a lot of traffic there especially that time of day because of the nearby school and there are parents and school buses dropping kids off. "

The accident happened at 7:30 Tuesday morning. Oden told police the sun was in his eyes, and he didn't see Valla walking across the street until it was too late.

Police say it's possible Valla didn't hear the car coming toward her.

The accident is under investigation. Little Rock Police say Valla does have the right of way as a pedestrian in the crosswalk, but Oden couldn't control the sun blinding him.

Neely Dupre lives near the intersection and says she and her neighbors would like to see sidewalks put in as a safety measure. "I think that would help, but people just need to slow down."

Toyota just recently added a new feature to all its Prius hybrid models, a high pitch hum that can be heard outside the vehicle to protect pedestrians. Oden's 2007 model doesn't have that feature.

Police say Valla is suffering from a broken elbow and a fractured skull, and isn't breathing on her own. Oden hasn't been cited yet, but charges are pending.
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