Investigators say driver at fault for pedestrian death in Decatur

City of Decatur police have named a driver involved in a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred on Nov. 6 and said warrants have been issued for his arrest.

On Nov. 13, officials stated that “after the Decatur Police Department completed a thorough accident reconstruction and investigation,” the evidence led to 26-year-old Decatur resident Jared Bradley being charged with homicide by vehicle in the first-degree and reckless driving.

“Mr. Bradley was operating a gray BMW 330i, turning left onto East College Avenue from Commerce Drive (in Decatur),” stated police. “While turning, Mr. Bradley accelerated in a reckless manner, leaving the roadway and striking and killing 16-year-old Scottdale resident Kevin Valente.”

According to officials with Decatur Police Department, on Nov. 6 at approximately 7:17 p.m., police responded to an accident at the intersection of East College Avenue and Commerce Drive. Responding officers said they located a 16-year-old juvenile male who was struck by a vehicle. The juvenile succumbed to injuries sustained during the accident and died, stated police.

Officials later identified the pedestrian as Valente.

At the time of the accident, police stated that the driver of the vehicle involved with the incident remained at the scene and was cooperating with the investigative process.

“Mr. Bradley is currently wanted on charges of homicide by a vehicle and is not in custody,” stated police at press time.

Since the accident occurred, multiple people have complained about the intersection where Valente died.

“I drive through there several times a day and it’s so awful making a left turn no matter which way you are headed,” said Bonnie Craft. “It sure would help to have a left turn signal (arrow) there; not having one often causes people to take a chance on making the turn and then have to speed up to avoid traffic coming straight through. This is such a tragedy.”

Another issue, said Maria Bachman, commenting on Decatur Police Department’s post about the fatal accident, is a lack of lighting at the intersection. The accident occurred the day after daylight saving time ended as it does annually in the fall, causing darkness to occur earlier.

“(The intersection) is problematic because a car (that) is turning left is so focused on watching the cars coming towards them, they may not notice a pedestrian is crossing, especially when it’s dark,” said Bachman. “And that’s also another issue, that intersection has no lighting so someone walking across could easily not be seen at night, especially if they’re wearing darker clothing.”


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