June 17, 2021

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Death of woman struck by car bringing push for better pedestrian access on West Street

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Ashley Saxon passed away last Friday after being hit while walking near 32nd Street South and West Street.

She was in her 30s and left behind two boys.

Carrie Stuber has spend the last week reflecting.

“She was my first best friend. We were just like sisters honestly,” said Carrie Stuber.

Stuber shared the two were inseparable growing up.

“She was a really amazing, sweet person. I mean, growing up, I looked at her as a role model, it really hurts to know that she’s not here now,” Stuber said.

Wichita police say Saxon was walking when she was hit by a car. The area she was in did not have sidewalks so Saxon was walking in the street.

“Obviously, the fatalities, the worst end of it, but we don’t want anybody twisting an ankle or having any issues with the public sidewalk,” said Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Council, District 4.

Councilman Blubaugh says accessibility for pedestrians on West Street has been a huge topic. He said they are looking into options to address it.

“Even though it is an industrial corridor, we’d like to have a six-foot sidewalk,” he said. “Ideally, a 10 foot is perfect, but a lot of times you’re going to have this four foot, a lot of these sidewalks are older, they’re not level.”

While Stuber cannot get her cousin back, she wants changes to prevent it from happening to anyone else.

“If there was more lighting in areas that could use it, such as the area she was in — maybe, more sidewalks put up or something, but I just feel like especially at night people should be a lot more cautious of everywhere they’re going, whether it’s a side street or Main Street.”

Councilman Blubaugh said now is the perfect time to address accessibility for pedestrians since they are already working on a construction project on West Street.