NACOGDOCHES — Police are still seeking clues in a fatal hit-and-run that killed a Nacogdoches man late Monday night on South Street.
On Thursday, police publicly identified the man as Tyatrick Coutee, 45 of Nacogdoches, after notifying his next of kin.
Coutee’s body was found around 11:30 p.m. Monday in the 5000 block of South Street, Nacogdoches police Sgt. Brett Ayres said.
Coutee was pronounced dead by a Nacogdoches County Justice of the Peace. It remains unclear why he was walking along South Street at night.
The 5000 block of South Street is about a mile and a half south of the Loop 224 intersection. That portion of South Street has no sidewalks and a narrow shoulder.
Anyone with information about the crash is encouraged to call Nacogdoches police at (936) 559-2607 or Crime Stoppers at (936) 560-4636. Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for the first and best tip leading to the arrest of a felony suspect. Tips may also be submitted online at ncstips.com.
Tipsters who use Crime Stoppers do not have to give their name and do not have to testify in court.
The South Street hit-and-run is the first pedestrian fatality of the year after a deadly two-year streak.
Four pedestrians and a cyclist were killed in 2022, and 13 died in crashes in 2021. The vast majority of the fatal crashes happened at night.
Statewide, 934 pedestrians and cyclists died in crashes in 2021, accounting for one in every five of the 4,496 traffic fatalities, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
From 2017 to 2021, pedestrian fatalities increased 34% across the state, while bicyclist fatalities increased 58%.
Last week, the transportation department launched its “Be Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign aimed at reducing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.
“We have a shared responsibility to every member of our community — to every family and every individual — to help reverse these trends and reduce traffic fatalities in Texas,” TxDOT executive director Marc Williams said in a written statement. “We’re asking all Texans to watch out for one another whether you’re behind the wheel, on foot or on a bike. Obeying traffic safety laws is a critical first step.”
Texas law states that drivers must:
• Stop and yield for pedestrians, bicyclists and others in crosswalks.
• Yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists when turning.
• Pass bikes at a safe distance.
• Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
• Obey all traffic signs and signals.
• Use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
• Always stop at red lights and stop signs.
• Ride in the same direction as traffic and use bike lanes or ride as near as possible to the right-hand curb.
• Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
• Make sure bikes are equipped at night with a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.
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