Funeral for MTSU student killed crossing road set for Wednesday - WKRN News 2

Funeral for MTSU student killed crossing road set for Wednesday

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Photo courtesy of the Daily News Journal Photo courtesy of the Daily News Journal
Photo courtesy of the Daily News Journal Photo courtesy of the Daily News Journal

The funeral for the 28-year-old Middle Tennessee State University student who was killed Friday while crossing an intersection near campus will be held Wednesday.   

Visitation for David "Ritt" Chitwood will be held Tuesday at Waller Chapel located at 7281 Nolensville Road from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.   

His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at St. Rose of Lima at 1601 N. Tennessee Boulevard at 11 a.m. Visitation will also be held prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m.  

Chitwood, who was bound to a wheelchair, was killed after he was struck by a dump truck as he attempted to cross Greenland Drive at Middle Tennessee Boulevard near campus.  

Just days after the Chitwood's sudden death, students throughout the campus are still shocked and even more concerned about the intersection where the tragic event took place.

"I think the light is too short to cross it," said MTSU student Julio Martinez.

Many students told News 2 the traffic lights at the busy intersection of Middle Tennessee Boulevard onto Greenland Drive at times change to quickly, which they feel could potentially be dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians.  

"As soon as you see it turns green and then as soon as you get to the intersection, it turns yellow," explained freshman Austin Phillip.

MTSU graduate student Jarayon Jackson added, "If a fatality or a death has occurred, I think the city should take immediate action."

To get an idea how quickly the light changes at the busy intersection, News 2 decided to time it out.  It took nearly 21 seconds before the light changed from "Walk" to "Don't Walk".

According to the Murfreesboro Police Department, last Friday's unfortunate accident is the first one in two years involving a pedestrian at that particularly intersection.  

In 2013, 21 total accidents occurred within 200 feet of the intersection.  Zero involved pedestrians.

In 2012, there were 24 total accidents reported within 200 feet of the intersection. None  involved pedestrians.

News 2 reached out to MTSU officials who said they are not aware of any students concerns about the traffic signals at the intersection.  

"Public safety and the safety of our students is always a major concern for the university. Even though this is a city-controlled roadway, we'll request that the city of Murfreesboro review this intersection's pedestrian safety measures," MTSU spokesman Jimmy Hart said in a release.

Murfreesboro city officials said at the conclusion of the investigation, they will determine if any adjustments to the traffic signals are needed at the intersection.  

Chitwood was a junior and was majoring in mass communications. He was left paralyzed following a serious accident in 2006.

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