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2 girls hit by car blocks from school

September 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two 8-year-old girls were on their way to school Wednesday morning when they were hit by a motorist in Rialto.The two third graders were crossing the street at Alice and Walnut avenues, just a few blocks from Preston Elementary School, when they were struck. According to the Rialto Police Department, the girls were not in a crosswalk.

"He just saw the car hit the two little girls and he said that they flew up in the air, and he just started crying," said Stephanie Ariza, whose son witnessed the crash.

One of the girls was transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and is on life support. The second girl suffered only minor injuries.

"Of the two children, one was transported to Arrowhead Community with critical injuries and she is on life support," said Rialto Police Officer David Shepherd. "The other one was transported and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries."

Police are investigating the accident and the female driver of the vehicle is being questioned.

There have been three young people hit by motorists in the past two weeks in the Rialto Unified School District. Last week a 14-year-old skateboarder was killed in front of a high school.

"The responsibility lies through the whole community, it's not just parents, it's not just police officers, it's not just the students," said Syeda Jafri of the Rialto Unified School District. "But I think communication is very important. I think that we need to slow down in school zones. We are all guilty of going a little faster than we should."

The posted speed limit on Walnut Avenue where the collision occurred is 30 miles per hour. It is unclear how fast the driver was traveling.

Grief counselors were at the school to help other students cope with the situation.

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