AP NEWS

Pedestrian, 81, in critical condition after airport accident

January 25, 2019

HARLINGEN — An 81-year-old man is in critical condition at Valley Baptist Medical Center after being struck by a vehicle while he was in the baggage loading and unloading lane at Valley International Airport.

The incident occurred at 11:40 a.m., and police continued to cordon off the arrival-departure lanes until late afternoon as their investigation continued.

“What appears to have happened is the individual who was driving accidentally struck a pedestrian who was loading and offloading their vehicle in the curb area,” said Bryan Wren, assistant director of aviation at the airport. “It appears he hit him pretty hard and right now all we know is the individual who was hit is in critical condition and is currently in surgery at Valley Baptist.”

The Harlingen Police Department has not released the names of the victim or the driver. It was unclear if any charges have been filed.

The approach to the airport’s departure and arrival entrances consists of a loading lane along the curb and three other lanes. The speed limit of 15 mph is clearly marked, and safety measures include a flashing sign which indicates vehicle speed on the approach to the luggage loading area.

Airport security cameras recorded video of the incident and it was turned over to police investigators, Wren said.

“I will commend our officers and the first responders, they were here in a very rapid and quick response,” Wren added. “From time of initial impact to the time the man was being transported was a very short period of time.”