[nagdu] Guide dog user run down

Tracy Carcione carcione at access.net
Wed Dec 9 14:38:23 UTC 2009

Someone mentioned this the other day, and I looked up the article.  A man
is going about his business, and gets run down by some fool, who's
probably drunk, or texting, or just plain never considered that there
might be an actual pedestrian in the crosswalk.  Imagine that.
Anyway, I've pasted the article below.  I hope Tom survives.  And I hope
the driver doesn't just get off.  White cane laws or not, people still
sometimes figure a blind guy was in the wrong, just by being out walking

Update: Blind man run over at busy intersection, in critical condition
Update 4:50 P.M.

Update 4:50 P.M.
Gretchen Schlosser,
West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — A 58-year-old Willmar man, who is blind, is in critical
condition after he was run over by a vehicle and sustained chest injuries
around 6 p.m.
Monday at the intersection of First Street and 19th Avenue.

According to police reports, Thomas Dennis Sykora was walking south,
crossing 19th Avenue in the crosswalk. He was using white cane and a guide
dog while
wearing a bright yellow jacket with reflective tape, when he was struck
and run over by a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Gary Lee Mattson, 55, of
Mattson allegedly left the scene, but was located later by law enforcement

Sykora was taken by Willmar Ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital and was
later airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital, where he was listed in critical
as of 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. A witness reported seeing the vehicle stop, pull
out to turn and then running over the pedestrian.

A Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputy was immediately on the scene and
provided medical assistance to Sykora.

The incident remains under investigation by the Willmar Police Department.

Sykora’s guide dog, Nectar, did not appear to be injured in the incident.

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