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More than a dozen area counties see rise in deadly crashes involving pedestrians in past 10 years

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police identified a man hit and killed on another metro interstate. Investigators say someone hit and killed 43-year-old Larenzo White as he walked along I-435, and police say the driver just kept going.

Now police are looking for that driver, and to stop the rise of pedestrian fatalities, experts say we need to get back to the basics.

"It has been a month since my son has been gone," Falenthia Day told FOX 4.

Day's son Tyrone is one of the several pedestrians who have been killed on Kansas City streets recently when he was catching a bus near Prospect and East 73rd Street.

When she heard about the latest victim who was killed walking along the shoulder of I-435 near Grandview Road, it reopened her wound that is still far from healing.

"I think about him, I look at his picture and if I think too long I am going to cry because it just brings back everything that happened."

Aaron Bartlett is a senior transportation planer with the Mid-America Regional Council. His group has studied 13 counties around the metro and found that pedestrian fatalities have increased from 8 percent of roadway fatalities in 2008 to 16 percent in 2016. Bartlett attributes this to several factors including speed and more people - pedestrians and cars - using the roads.

"The number of fatalities in the region is going up. The economy is coming back so people going back to work, and things like that is going to increase the number of miles people drive and the traffic that is on the road," he said.

Bartlett says it is the responsibility of both those walking on the roadways should pay extra attention, look both ways, and do other things we are taught as kids. Driver attention should focus 100 percent on the road.

"Anything that is taking your attention away from driving is reducing the amount of information you are processing for the roadways, so distracted driving is a huge problem," he said.

"If people would stop using their phones while driving, and especially don't text while you are driving, I think a lot of these crashes could be prevented."

There were no witnesses police now about in the death of White, so police nedd your help. If you know anything please call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.