On February 5, 2013 at 5:27pm the Astoria Police were notified of a vehicle versus pedestrian crash near 16th and Marine. When they arrived they found 20 year old Luke Hauflin, a tongue point student, had been struck by a vehicle. The vehicle was operated by Telisa Bustamante, a 39 year old Astoria resident who works at Tongue Point.
Investigation revealed that Haufin had been on the south east side of the intersection waiting to cross Marine Drive (Hwy 30) to the north side of the road. He had waved several eastbound cars by then when encouraged by someone across the street that it was clear ran across the intersection. When he passed in front of cars stopped in the left turn lane he ran into the side of Bustamante's vehicle. Haufin's point of impact with the vehicle was the side of the vehicle not the front. Bustamante, and several witnesses said that she did not have any opportunity to stop. Hauflin was also in dark clothing with a dark hood covering his head. Hauflin was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital by Medix Ambulance after being treated at the scene by Astoria Fire and Medix Ambulance.
Astoria Police hope that this crash serves as a reminder that crossing the highway is dangerous business. Doing it safely requires effort from both drivers and pedestrians. Police say high visibility clothing, ensuring that you make eye contact with drivers, and planning your crossing to take advantage of the terrain are keys to successfully crossing the highway. In this case, the other side of 16th offers a marked crosswalk and a paved median that allows a place of refuge halfway across the road. It offers less conflict with vehicles since the pedestrian does not also have to cross the vehicles waiting to turn left and better sight lines to the traffic.