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Man visiting from China hit & killed by car in Pittsford

A man from China was hit and killed by a vehicle while cross the street in Pittsford Wednesday night, according to Monroe County Sheriff's deputies. (WHAM photo)

Pittsford, N.Y. - A man from China was hit and killed by a vehicle while cross the street in Pittsford Wednesday night, according to Monroe County Sheriff's deputies.

Deputies said 77-year-old Xuming Tian was walking across South Main Street near Sunset Boulevard around 9 p.m. when he was struck.

Tian was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

The police investigation continues, but the incident has renewed concern for pedestrian safety in both the town and village. The village has received a state grant to pay for better crossing signs at an intersection where a teenager was struck in February.

A broader plan is in the works. Yet critics - including that teen's mom - say one thing is missing. "It brought back a wave of emotions when I heard what happened," Rene Demar says about Wednesday night's fatal crash. "It was our worst fear."

It's been five months since Demar's daughter Julia was struck not far from Sunset Boulevard as she was crossing Main Street. Julia was injured but not critically.

A security camera from a nearby business captured the impact and the aftermath as the driver took off.

"We knew it would only be a matter of time before it happened again," Demar told 13 WHAM's Jane Flasch.

"This is a chronic problem and I'm very saddened it's ended in a tragedy like this," said Pittsford Village Mayor Bob Corby. He says a chronic problem is speeding- especially on the roads approaching the village.

The town and village have drafted a safety plan to reduce the speed on Main Street to 25 mph, and to 35 mph on all feeder streets and roads. The plan also calls for eliminating the right hand turn lanes.

"You can post speed limits, but the most effective way to slow drivers down is to visually narrow the width of the road," said Corby.

On Wednesday night, the driver was not speeding. Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith tells 13WHAM News the driver was driving 30 mph in the posted 35 mph zone. Yet the crosswalk there is faded, and the lack of visibility is a key issue at many of the other crosswalks bisecting Main Street.

Cities such as Canandaigua have turned to flashing crosswalks that are lit from the sidewalk area as well as directly on the road.

Demar says Pittsford's plan should be amended to include this safer alternative, which might have made a difference for both driver and pedestrian.

"Our heart goes out to that family. I do think this can be prevented," Demar said. "I do think it's a matter of time before it happens again unless we address the crosswalk flaws."

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