Family hopes to raise awareness for pedestrians following deadly hit & run

GRANTS PASS, Ore. —We’re learning more details about a felony hit-and-run crash that left two Grants Pass residents dead on Friday.  Police say the elderly couple 91-year-old Deverne Jacobsen and his 85-year-old wife Gwen were trying to cross Highway 99 to go to a Christmas party when they were hit by a Toyota Tacoma.

Police say the driver was 25-year-old Skylar Fucci of Grants Pass. According to court documents, he didn’t stop, call 911 or render aid. He admitted to hitting someone but was too scared to check, according to police records. He’s currently charged with two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver to seriously injured persons.

Following the Jacobsen’s deaths, their family is trying to prevent the next fatal crash. They’re hoping to reduce the chance of pedestrian-vehicle accidents by using flags when crossing the street. The Jacobsen’s son, Eric is behind the effort. He says pedestrian flags are simple, inexpensive, and a great way to improve visibility at night.

A Facebook group was just created called Ped Flag Joco. The concept is to place a post of reflective flags in specific Josephine County areas.  People can then grab a flag while they walk across the street, making them more visible to drivers.

“Looking for the future, how can we make things better for lots of people, this has the advantage of it, it’s simple it’s cheap it might not even require governmental intervention, perhaps a business owner could see this and say I wanna buy those myself,” said son Eric Jacobsen.

He says he’s in the process of working with the Oregon Department of Transportation to learn more about how to make the idea a reality.  The family says there is no crosswalk in the area the Jacobsen’s were hit and killed.

You can find the newly-created Facebook page here.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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