For crash victim, evidence is the upside of red-light cameras - FOX 13 News

For crash victim, evidence is the upside of red-light cameras

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CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

To 22-year-old Mark McClendon of Clearwater, the video proves the crash that landed him in the hospital came out of nowhere.

Two weeks ago this morning, police say he was on Gulf to Bay Blvd when a pickup truck, driven by 63-year-old David Cobb, ran the light and T-boned him.

"I had no time to react," McClendon recalled. "Just seeing a black blur, and I hear the crumbling of the metal."

Aside from bumps, bruises and a stiff neck, he was relatively okay.

Cobb, of Clearwater, was ticketed for running the light and not having proof of insurance.

State lawmakers are considering reigning in fines or eliminating cameras altogether. McClendon agrees they don't deter red light running, but values the evidence they can provide.

"I started doubting myself when I was in the hospital, of whether or not I ran the red light," McClendon said.

Though Clearwater Police can't say yet why the other driver didn't stop, they say the cameras give them opportunities to highlight the need to be careful around intersections.

"It's just visual evidence of what happens if a driver is not paying attention or following the law," said Rob Shaw, a spokesman for Clearwater police.

McClendon also says the cameras highlight how random life can be. That morning, he left for work 15 minutes later than usual.

"I could have left on time and passed before it even happened," he said.

The video shows two lives violently coming together, though not the beginning of a grudge.

"I'm confused as to why he ran the red light. I'm not angry at him," said McClendon. "I wasn't there with him. I don't know what he was going through. We all make mistakes."

Although we made several efforts, we were not immediately able to reach the driver of the pickup truck. Police say they don't know whether the driver was distracted.

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