Caldwell reacts to death of woman on Ustick Rd. in motorized wheelchair

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 21:21:18-04

Mickey Reichert, a 58-year-old Caldwell woman, was traveling along E. Ustick Rd in Caldwell when she was struck and killed by a pickup truck.

"I hope she's at rest. I hope she's at peace. And my sons-- they miss her. And life is hard without her," her daughter Christine Reichert said.

Frustrated residents are now left to wonder why and how this could have happened.

"This is the main thoroughfare. Walmart's right down there, the boulevard is down there, and it's where everybody needs to go. And there's no place for them to walk except for here along the shoulder."

Reichert's family wants to see change. "I wish people would slow down and take notice of what's around them," the victim's sister Stella Peltzer said.

"Make the roads a little bit wider. Make bike lanes. Make walking lanes-- something to where we can have safety as a pedestrian going down the road," Reichert said.

Safety is a top priority for the non-profit organization Idaho Walk Bike Alliance. 

"Idaho's changing. And we all need to think about things differently in the state. As our roads get busier," said Executive Director Cynthia Gibson.

Gibson lobbied the state legislature for an increase in federal funds for the widening of roads like Ustick. She says sidewalks could have helped to save Reichert's life.

"If we don't start designing our roads with the most vulnerable user in mind first, then we don't get the types of facilities put down that help everybody be safe." 

But Caldwell Public Works Director Brent Orton says it's not always tragic incidents like this that become an impetus for change.

"The facilities that accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists tend to come as development occurs," Orton said. "And it's kind of a game of trying to put the money where you can do the most good based on the amount of traffic or congestion or even the number of accidents that happen."

Orton would like to express his condolences for both parties involved in the incident.