Ferndale police are investigating the death of a 70-year-old Ferndale woman who was killed June 18 by a vehicle while trying to cross northbound Woodward Avenue despite the traffic light indicating not to cross.
The woman, identified as Barbara Yakob, was at the intersection of College Street and Woodward at approximately 8:45 a.m. June 18 when police say she went against a red light and was struck by an oncoming vehicle five blocks south of Nine Mile Road.
“The 70-year-old woman was crossing against the traffic light when she was struck by a vehicle,” Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson said. “The woman was lying in the traffic lanes when officers arrived and began CPR to try and resuscitate her, but it apparently failed.”
The vehicle that hit Yakob was a 2003 Buick driven by an unidentified 80-year-old resident of Durham, N.C. Upon arrival at the scene, Ferndale police found Yakob lying in the left lane of northbound Woodward.
After the attempted CPR, Ferndale Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported Yakob to William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, where she was pronounced dead. The victim’s family has been notified.
“It seems the victim stepped out into the crossroad and the driver didn’t see her and hit her,” Wilson said. “It just sounds like a tragic accident.”
Several witnesses reported to the police that Yakob had crossed the busy intersection against the red signal and walked into the path of the 2003 Buick. Witnesses also reported that other motorists had narrowly missed striking Yakob as she walked into traffic.
An employee who was arriving at L.A. Insurance on southbound Woodward Avenue at the time of the incident said she saw police and other emergency vehicles on the scene. She saw vehicles slowing down to see what happened, and traffic subsequently backing up, as police closed multiple lanes to investigate.
Wilson said police personnel questioned the North Carolina man but no charges were filed against him and he was free to go. At this time, alcohol is not considered to be a factor in the crash.
Investigators have no indication Yakob was distraught or suicidal when she walked across Woodward, Wilson added.
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