The lives of the Corrie family were forever changed at 7:20 p.m. Nov. 11, the time and date of a south Tulsa auto-pedestrian collision that killed Marshal Corrie, their soon to be 2-year-old son, grandson and brother.
The accident took place just north of 63rd Street and Peoria Avenue near the Warehouse Market grocery store. It involved an out-of-town driver who was unfamiliar with what sources say is a pedestrian-heavy area because of the several apartment complexes in the vicinity.
On foot were 30-year-old Kellie Corrie, who was pushing her youngest son, Marshal, in a stroller, and her friend Misty McCullough. The women were returning to Corrie's apartment after buying groceries.
They were not crossing the street in a crosswalk or at an intersection, according to the police report. The driver, who lives in east Texas and was visiting Tulsa on business, did not appear to be speeding in the rental car she was driving, the report states.
But the tragedy might be connected to a shortage of safeguards for pedestrians in the area rather than any decisions not to use those safeguards.
The city of Tulsa plans to make changes in the area where the accident occurred, city spokeswoman Michelle Allen said. Planned modifications include lowering the speed limit, as well as installing crosswalk lines and static signs.
"This has probably been the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me and my entire family," said Gail Corrie, Kellie Corrie's mother and Marshal's grandmother.
Kellie and Marshal Corrie took the brunt of the impact from the maroon 2012 Nissan Altima. Marshal died at Saint Francis Hospital around 9 p.m. that same day. Both women were injured and were taken to St. John Medical Center.
Kellie Corrie is now living with her parents, and her brain trauma is so severe that she doesn't remember that her youngest son was killed, Gail Corrie said. She asks to take care of her sons — her 9-, 7- and 5-year-old boys are living with their father and paternal grandmother — but it would be impossible for her daughter to maintain a home, Gail Corrie said.
"She can't even get out of bed," she continued. "It's sad something can just take your life like that and totally flip it around."
During the past five years 42 people have died because of auto-pedestrian accidents in Tulsa, according to Officer Craig Murray, the Tulsa Police Department's traffic safety coordinator. The deaths occurred in locations throughout the city and were not concentrated in one area, Murray said.
"People that live in the area — they're going to realize there is potential for a lot of (street) crossing," he said, referring to the Warehouse Market and a laundromat on the east and west sides of Peoria and the multiple apartment complexes in the area.
Anything, such as signage, to mark the area for motorists not familiar with the location and its foot traffic would add to the safety of pedestrians, Murray said.
The city has short- and long-term plans to make changes to the area, Allen said.
Changes scheduled for next month include lowering the speed limit in addition to installing static signs and crosswalk markings, she said. The city is also currently conducting a traffic count at the location.
In the long-term, the city is working with a consultant for a mobility study of the area, Allen said. Longer-term treatments will depend on the study's findings.
Mobility studies assess the safety, functional performance and service quality experienced by all users on an urban street corridor to identify needed improvements to achieve performance measures, Allen said.
The study will consider factors that include roadway geometry, traffic volume, pavement condition, speed limit, crash history, vehicle and pedestrian access, intersection control type, signal timing data, on-street parking, sidewalk widths and transit data.
Local business owner Koua Moua moved to Tulsa from Colorado 10 months ago and has noticed the challenges for the many pedestrians in his new neighborhood, he said.