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School crosswalk crash kills 11-year-old

October 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 6th-grade girl was struck and killed on her way to school Wednesday. She was crossing the street in a crosswalk when she was hit. The 11-year-old girl was crossing the street to Eleanor J. Toll Middle School in Glendale and she was hit just after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Witnesses say the crosswalk lights were flashing but the SUV driver didn't stop.

Glenwood Road runs past three separate schools: An elementary, a middle, and high school, all in two short blocks, and it's a street that has lots of traffic

Witnesses say at 8:05 Wednesday morning a mother driving her daughter to Toll Middle School stopped her car across the street and opened the door to allow the 6th-grader to cross.

"A lady driving a Nissan SUV, and I guess she just ran someone over at the crosswalk," said eyewitness Brian Contreras. "I heard the mom witnessed the whole thing, just let her off, got out, walked cross the crosswalk, and that's when it happened. Didn't slow down or anything. She just ran right over her."

School officials say a teacher who witnessed the accident rushed to administer CPR but the 11-year-old girl died from her injuries. They say the crosswalk lights were flashing but the driver made no attempt to stop.

"The lights in the pavement for pedestrian traffic were flashing. There were other children crossing," said Dr. Linda Junge, Glendale Unified School District spokesperson. "I know that there were other motorists from the other direction who did yield and stop, so yes, there were indicators that there was a pedestrian, that there was a child in the crosswalk."

Dr Junge said so far students at the school have not been told of the tragedy. Thursday, teachers will be prepared to discuss it.

Ed Nazarians said he walks his two children to nearby Mark Keppel Elementary School because many motorists are driving too fast.

"I feel awful because sometimes I see people when driving around here you know, they don't pay attention, especially we have three schools around this little area," said Nazarians. "I hope the school will do something about it."

The victim had been a student at Columbus Elementary School until last spring and then she transferred to Toll Middle School. She had just completed the first month of school.

The driver of the SUV was questioned by Glendale police but police say she was not impaired in any way and was not speeding so they're treating it as an accident.


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