Friends, neighbors of woman killed in southwest Houston intersection demand more safety

HOUSTON – Friends of a woman who was killed while walking her dogs in southwest Houston say the streets in the city are not safe for pedestrians and they have a message for city leaders.


Neighbors and friends of Polly Koch, who died after she was hit by a truck in the crosswalk at the intersection of Richmond and Mandell, want change of any kind, which is why they were in Montrose Wednesday morning spreading the word.

"The main concern is that our friend died here, it's lethal," said Raj Mankad, Koch's friend and colleague.

Friends and neighbors honored Koch by walking the same crosswalk where she died.

As they walked in her honor a car pulled up and tried to make the same turn that killed Koch -- a sign of how dangerous the intersection can be.

"This isn't just a matter of are we being considerate, it's the matter of value of life and we're completely discounting that value right now," Bike Houston Chairman Dan Piette said.

What they're asking for

The organization is asking for accountability. 

The person who hit and killed Koch and one of the two dogs she was walking at the time wasn't charged with a crime. The pickup truck driver remained at the scene after the crash.

"The city and the police and the DA's office, they need to enforce the laws that we have," Mankad said. "It is the law that cars stop for pedestrians in any crosswalk."

Koch's people also paid a visit to the city council Wednesday morning, demanding to be heard.

"In a way being here, and I think listening also to my friends talk about this, it's a way of continuing a conversation with Polly, about how to address issues that affect all of us," said Jane Creighton, a longtime friend of Koch.

Channel 2 has a message out to the city for a comment, but Mayor Sylvester Turner already has a commission to identify the 10 most dangerous intersections and study how to make them safer.

Residents in Montrose want the intersection of Richmond and Mandell added to that list.