MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami police are investigating an early morning accident in which a wheelchair bound man was killed.
Homicide investigators have not released the man’s name yet; but they said he was crossing the street at NW 4th Avenue and 62nd Street around 9pm when a white van hit him.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: Search & Rescue Continues, Death Toll Now At Four
Investigators said the impact threw the man from his wheelchair.
“The driver never saw the victim,” said Det. Joseph Kennedy, of Miami Police Traffic Homicide. “The causation of the crash is gonna be an inoperable street light as you can see we have a street light that’s out.”
Neighbors in the community said lighting is a chronic problem in that area.
“Sometimes its on, sometimes its off, “ said Allen Blackshire, a neighbor.
“Its horrible, but it shouldn’t of happened,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified. “The lights should be working everywhere. If it was working somebody might have seen him and he wouldn’t of passed away.”READ MORE: 'It's Harder When It's In Your Back Yard': Former Miami-Dade Fire Chief Of Condo Collapse Search & Rescue
This is not the first time faulty lighting has been implicated in a traffic fatality. Back in September, 52 year old Thelma Morrow was killed while crossing the street.
Police said the driver of the car that hit her had trouble seeing because the lights were out on the street.
“The criminal element was taking the wires and the street lights were out in the area,” said Detective Kennedy.
The city has since fixed the lights in liberty city where Morrow was killed and the county created a copper theft task force to crack down on the problem of thieves stealing wires.
As for the Wednesday night fatal accident, the city’s Public Works Department insists all the lights near NW 4th Avenue and 62nd street were functioning.MORE NEWS: Condo Collapse: Families Anxiously Await Word On Loved Ones
That is contradictory to police reports identifying “inoperable lighting.”