ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – St. Louis County Police have identified the victim of a deadly hit-and-run on St. Charles Rock Road Tuesday morning.
Marquist Murray was struck near the intersection of St. Charles Rock Road and Normandy Avenue, an area notorious for crashes.
Murray’s daughter, Shanirah, is a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). She is asking for prayers for her family.
“It hurts to know that he won’t get the chance to see me pursue my career or meet my future kids because his life was taken by a careless driver who was too scared to take accountability,” she said.
Police released surveillance video of the vehicle believed to have struck Murray. Officers described the car as a white 2000-2006 GMC Yukon with front-end damage, including a missing portion of the front driver’s side headlight.
Police said the driver left the scene, and Murray died after being transported to a nearby hospital.
“It’s horrific to imagine that they left him there to die alone. They left him when they could’ve possibly saved him,” Shanirah said.
His daughter also wants to see safety enhancements to reduce the risk of another family experiencing her grief. She said her dad had struggles in life but remained a loving person, always offering a helping hand to those in need.
“He was genuinely a good person with a big heart,” Shanirah said.
One noticeable safety improvement on St. Charles Rock Road went into effect last week. MoDOT created a pedestrian hybrid beacon at the intersection of St. Charles Rock Road and Orlando Avenue.
The intersection has five lanes of traffic and is located near Ritenour High School. A gas station is situated across the street from the school, making it a priority to have safety measures for pedestrians.
Pedestrians can press a button that triggers a traffic warning for drivers and, eventually, a red light.
“It will start flashing yellow,” said Lisa Kuntz, MoDOT project manager.
She said drivers would then see the light turn red.
“That’s when the pedestrian signal will tell you it’s okay to walk,” Kuntz said.
Kuntz advises pedestrians to make sure the traffic stops before walking across the street.
The light will then change to a flashing red, meaning drivers can go if there are no pedestrians in their lane. There are several other areas in St. Louis where similar devices are located. MoDOT said more locations are being planned in the future.
Trailnet is a local non-profit advocating for safer transportation. A spokesperson for the agency said, “Pedestrian hybrid beacons combined with pedestrian refuge islands are a proven safety measure to increase safety and visibility for people walking and biking.”
The agency points to the Federal Highway Administration’s finding that the safety enhancements are, “proven safety countermeasures.”
The spokesperson from Trailnet added that on many of St. Louis County’s arterial roads, safe, well-lit crossings are too few and too far between. They said implementing proven safety countermeasures is a step in the right direction.