Is this stretch of Hwy 249 a pedestrian death trap? Harris County sheriffs investigating three vehicle-related killings

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — On a stretch of Highway 249 between FM 1960 and Veterans Memorial Parkway, vehicles zoom through a congested area going 50 mph.

It's a typical sight in Houston— expect this particular spot is gaining a reputation as a 'hot spot' for deadly pedestrian accidents.

In fact, three people have been killed along this road in separate incidents just within the last two weeks.

On Wednesday night, Harris County deputies said Melanie Mason was killed as she stepped off a Metro Bus and tried to cross Hwy 249.

In late October, investigators said 27-year-old Brittany Nicole Spears was walking along the shoulder when she was struck by nine different vehicles. Not one of those drivers stopped to help.

Spokesperson Danny Perez at the Texas Department of Transpiration said poor lighting and a lack of crosswalks and traffic signals are likely to blame. They're now working on a quick fix and a long-term solution to curb the problem.

"Safety is always our number one priority. Illumination, access management with the medians, is something we can do in the meantime, until we widen the freeway or work to increase capacity in that area," Perez said.

Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Gilliland said it's both the driver and pedestrian's responsibility to adhere to safety rules when on the roads.

As for the pedestrian fatalities, those remain under investigation. No suspects have been found but the drivers in the hit-and-run incidents could be charged with 'failure to render aid' — a third degree felony, according to Gilliland.

If you have any information about these cases, call the Traffic Division at HCSO at 713-274-7400.