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Young girl killed in crosswalk near school

March 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Parents are upset over the death of a little girl who died in a crosswalk near Russell Elementary in Los Angeles.Classes were about to begin when the young girl was crossing Firestone Boulevard with her older brother and sister. The driver of the van approached the intersection at that time.

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"The sun had risen about ten minutes before. The driver said that because of the angle of the sun it obscured his vision. He said it was difficult to see. He did not see the color of the signal nor the pedestrians in the crosswalk. So he didn't see them. He did not slow down or break," said Officer John Tye, CHP.

There have been several accidents at the crosswalk. In December of 2007, another student was hit and suffered a broken leg. Parents say they've had enough. They want more safety officers.

"It is a busy intersection and children cross as many as possible at a time. When the light changes though there are some still trying to run through. There is only one crossing guard and I think they should have two. They should have one on one side and one on the other," said Angel Castellanos, a concerned parent.

Charles Young isn't taking any chances. He's walking his son to school and he's worried.

"I guess it is real dangerous around here because it does get really crowded. I walk my son to school most of the time. It is a pretty busy street and cars do go by fast sometimes," said Young.

Inspectors from the L.A. County Department of Public Works on Wednesday morning were taking measurements at the scene. They were also checking traffic lights to make sure there were no problems.

School officials are also trying to make drivers aware of the children.

"We are trying to get parent volunteers to put on some safety vest and just come up and down to patrol. They could raise signs that say to slow down," said Adalberto Vega, school principal.

"It is a traffic jam. People drive fast and sometimes you can see them racing and it is concerning," said Griselda Prado, a concerned parent.

After the accident the driver of the van stopped. The CHP at this time says that the driver has not been charged.

Meanwhile the victim's brother and sister who were also hit are still in the hospital with serious injuries. They are expected to survive.

Many parents and residents in the area say that they would like to see a pedestrian bridge built over the street. This would allow kids to cross over the traffic safely.

A community meeting has been scheduled at Russell Elementary School on Thursday to discuss safety issues concerning the crosswalk.

 

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