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Virginia Beach leaders were warned about danger on Northampton Boulevard

A business owner told city leaders about dangers on the roadway months before the Sept. 27 incident in which a pedestrian was hit and killed.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach business owner tried to warn the city about dangerous - and deadly - pedestrian crossings on Northampton Boulevard after capturing video of a man getting hit and killed by a car in late July.

Despite his requests, the city didn't make the immediate safety changes he asked for. On Monday night, another man died trying to walk across Northampton Boulevard. 

It's the same street where a driver hit and killed boxing legend Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker in 2019.

"It was just a recipe for disaster, unfortunately," said Eric Anas. "I’m always going to wonder, what if."

Anas owns Offbase Supply Company, a tactical gear and military equipment store. He said he won't let his employees walk across Northampton Boulevard after witnessing the danger.

RELATED: Pedestrian hit, killed by SUV on Northampton Boulevard in Virginia Beach

Two months ago, his store's security cameras captured the moment a man was hit and killed by a car on Northampton Boulevard right in front of his store.

"He was attempting to cross, he continues where she stops, and at that point he’s struck by a vehicle," said Anas, watching the video of the accident. "It shouldn’t have happened, and it could’ve been prevented."

Northampton Boulevard doesn't have a crosswalk between Diamond Springs Road and Wesleyan Drive - about a mile-long stretch.

Anas emailed city leaders in August, pleading for safety improvements.

Virginia Beach public works and engineering leaders responded, saying pedestrian safety improvements at Northampton Boulevard "have been included in the Traffic Safety Improvements (TSI) Program within the City of Virginia Beach Roadways" Capital Improvement Plan.

One manager wrote in early August: "The project is on a backlog list of improvements and is currently unfunded and unassigned." The manager added that it would review project needs and its priority within the next 3 to 4 months, in light of the July death.

Anas wrote back: "I personally feel this needs higher priority, as 3-4 months allows plenty of time for another fatality to occur. My security cameras caught the entire graphic event and I’d hate to see more senseless loss of life happen if there is anything I can do to prevent it."

RELATED: Norfolk city leaders are working to stop speeders on neighborhood streets

Police say 56-year-old Aubrey Dion Parker was killed Monday night as he tried to cross the 8-lane road. Parker was not in an intersection or crosswalk. 

"Had I said things a little louder, had I chased it down and not just taken the answer I was given in an email at face value, perhaps I could have prevented this," Anas said Thursday.

After this week’s death, safety improvements are scheduled.

The City of Virginia Beach said contractors will start the work of installing a crosswalk at Burton Station Road across Northampton Boulevard on Monday, October 4, with signal poles on each side of the street and in the median.

Another crosswalk is planned for Baker Road.

Anas said he wants to share a louder message, this time. In addition to crosswalks, he wants the city to start a traffic safety study, look at lowering the speed limit on Northampton Boulevard, and put up signs warning of the danger for pedestrians.

"People need to know that this is a roadway that has killed and it’s going to keep killing if more isn’t done," he said.