Houston-area residents are used to the sight of “street vendors” helping the Chronicle prop up its circulation figures by (dangerously) peddling newspapers at busy intersections all across town.
Today, a death resulted from the practice:
Selling newspapers on a northwest Harris County street corner proved deadly for one man early Tuesday morning.
The 61-year-old man was selling newspapers when he was struck and killed. Harris County sheriff’s investigators say the driver who hit him may not even know it.
Investigators with Harris County say the man walked between a pickup truck and the trailer it was pulling at the intersection of Veteran’s Memorial and the Beltway. The trailer ran over him and the driver kept going. But investigators aren’t sure the driver even knows what he’s done.
A Chronicle press release stressed that the distributor who employed the deceased was an independent contractor:
The staff of the Houston Chronicle is deeply saddened that an independent Houston Chronicle newspaper vendor was killed early this morning. The seller was hired through an independent distributor of the Chronicle.
“Independent” or not, the fact is that peddling newspapers in the middle of busy intersections is dangerous. Back in October, the Chronicle editorial board misrepresented results of a study to advocate for a smoking ban, allegedly to protect workers in smoking establishments from harm. Since we now have evidence that newspaper vending in busy intersections is hazardous, we are looking forward to the editorial announcing the newspaper is discontinuing the practice because of concerns of workplace safety.
RELATED COVERAGE: Man selling newspapers run over, killed (KPRC-2), Street vendors face constant dangers (Carolyn Campbell, KHOU-11), Vendor selling papers on street run over and killed (Paige Hewitt, Chronicle).