Crime

Boise couple died after being struck in crosswalk. Driver won’t face felony charges.

Pedestrian fatalities: What can be done?

A silent walk in memory of two pedestrian fatalities, Florence and Bob Goar, was also a call to action for citizens, drivers, traffic designers and policy makers.
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A silent walk in memory of two pedestrian fatalities, Florence and Bob Goar, was also a call to action for citizens, drivers, traffic designers and policy makers.

The driver who ran over an elderly Boise couple in a city crosswalk during daylight hours three and a half months ago won’t face felony charges, Ada County prosecutors have decided after reviewing the police investigation.

He still could be charged with misdemeanor crimes.

Both of the victims died from their injuries.

County prosecutors have forwarded the case to Boise city prosecutors, who will decide whether driver Christopher Lammey will face misdemeanor charges in the deaths of Florence and Bob Goar, a spokeswoman told the Statesman on Monday. They received the case about a week ago, city spokesman Mike Journee said Monday.

The Statesman asked Ada County prosecutors for information on the factors that went into their charging decision.

“We are unable to provide any further response regarding your inquiry on this matter at this time,” Ada County Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Bethany Calley told the Statesman via email.

Florence, 87, died at the scene of the Feb. 27 crash. Bob, 89, died about nine days later. The couple, who have two children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, were planning to celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary this summer.

The Boise Police Department wrapped up its reconstruction of the crash and investigation the last week of May, a police spokeswoman said, and the report was forwarded to Ada County prosecutors.

Lammey, a 35-year-old Meridian resident, was driving a 1990 black Jeep Cherokee when he struck the Goars, according to the Idaho Transportation Department crash report. Lammey holds a Class A commercial license, the report shows.

The Goars were struck in a crosswalk on Milwaukee Street at West Northview Street. The crash was reported just before 5 p.m.

The couple was about a quarter-mile from their home, likely out for one of their daily walks before dinner, their daughter told the Statesman.

Lammey has six traffic violations in Idaho, including a 2003 misdemeanor conviction for inattentive/careless driving, according to online court records. The others were infractions: following to closely (2018), speeding (2011), failure to stop at a stop sign (2008), speeding (2002) and following too closely (2000).

The Statesman obtained a copy of the citation in the 2003 inattentive/careless driving incident in Nampa. The citation says Lammey was “squealing tires on the roadway.”

A blood test was done to determine whether Lammey had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the fatal crash on Feb. 27, the ITD crash report shows. But the results were not yet available.

The Goars’ death led to calls for a change in Boise’s driving culture, with drivers being held more accountable and infrastructure upgrades made to improve safety.

The Ada County Highway District said that between 1998 to 2017, there were 46 crashes in the intersection where the Goars were hit. Only one of those crashes was serious, and it was a single-vehicle crash involving alcohol.

The intersection has a flashing yellow arrow light most of the day, allowing motorists to turn if it’s clear of pedestrians and cars. But the flashing yellow doesn’t operate before and after school, a safety feature to protect children who are crossing the street. That’s something all pedestrians could benefit from — if there was a way to activate it, safety advocates say.

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