Oneonta city officials confirmed Monday the death of a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle while crossing Lettis Highway in December.

April Johnson, 32, of Oneonta, died Saturday in the intensive care unit at Albany Medical Center, according to Oneonta Police Chief Douglas Brenner.

“I don’t think she ever regained consciousness,” Brenner said, noting that Johnson suffered “very traumatic” head injuries in the Dec. 30 accident.

The driver, identified by police as David Shafer, 41, of Otsego, was ticketed for aggravated unlicensed operation as his license was suspended for unrelated offenses.

“It’s very sad that this person was hit by a vehicle,” Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said. “My thoughts go to her family.”

“We have recognized for a long time that road was never designed for pedestrians,” he continued. “It was a priority several years ago, and it is still.”

Herzig said the New York State Department of State denied a grant application submitted two years ago by the city and the town to redesign the highway to include sidewalks and street lights, but that officials are continuing to pursue improvements to pedestrian and motorist safety through the city’s strategic plan.

“Both the town and the city agree this needs to be a priority,” Herzig said. “We want to make sure the highway is designed for pedestrian use and that it’s as safe as can be.”

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.

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