November 7, 2016 10:57:34 AM
A Starkville man is behind bars after allegedly hitting a pedestrian while driving drunk on Blackjack Road near Helix Apartments in Starkville on Saturday.
Jaleen Jenkins, 22, was driving east in a Chevrolet S-10 pickup near the Hardy Road intersection when he allegedly struck a female attempting to cross the intersection at 9:20 p.m.
Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department Lt. Brett Watson said he believes the victim is a student at Mississippi State University.
The victim's condition is unknown.
Watson said the victim was airlifted to a Jackson hospital for treatment after an ambulance took her from the scene to OCH Regional Medical Center.
Deputies arrested Jenkins at the scene, Watson said. Jenkins has been charged with one count each of aggravated DUI, driving with a suspended license and no insurance.
Jenkins is being held in Oktibbeha County Jail and is expected to be arraigned today.
Starkville in Motion, a non-profit organization that promotes pedestrian and bicycle safety, launched a change.org petition in October, identifying dangers for pedestrians at the Blackjack-Hardy intersection.
The petition, titled "Put in a crosswalk at the Hardy/Blackjack intersection by Helix Apartments," implores Oktibbeha County officials to take action to mitigate pedestrian risk. More than 300 people have already signed it.
"Students should feel safe when they decide to commute to class by bicycle or on foot," the petition reads. "That is not the case for the MSU students who live along Blackjack Road. With the recent growth the Blackjack Road area has seen, infrastructure improvements for pedestrian safety and bicyclist safety have long been ignored."
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