Child crosses during green light, hit by truck
The boy did not have a "walk" status on his crosswalk sign
By Andy Kozlowski
HAZEL PARK, Mich. — A truck drove into an 11-year-old Hazel Park boy who attempted to cross the road while the light was still green and traffic was flowing. The incident occurred at Nine Mile and John R around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. The boy was crossing against the light from the northeast corner of the intersection, moving westward across John R, when he was hit by the vehicle, a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by a 69-year-old Madison Heights man who was traveling at or below the posted speed limit.
Authorities say the cross signal was not even close to "walk" status, which makes the boy's decision to dart into traffic all the more bewildering.
"It's a parent's worst nightmare," said Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner. "Hitting a child can be extremely traumatic, not only to the family of the child, but also the driver of the vehicle."
No drugs or alcohol appear to have been involved, Barner said, and the incident is being investigated as an accident. Police received many calls from witnesses at the scene, and the Fire Department and paramedics were there as quickly as possible. The boy was taken immediately to an area hospital, where he remained in serious but stable condition.
This is yet the latest case in a series of incidents involving pedestrians being struck dead or seriously injured while crossing the road improperly. Last month, Madison Heights saw two jaywalkers die on Dequindre: 64-year-old Clestia Foster, of Warren, killed Nov. 30, and 69-year-old Maxine Patton, of Madison Heights, killed Nov. 14. "If there's a lesson to be learned, number one is don't walk in the street at any time," Barner said. "I get complaints all the time of juveniles and even adults walking in the streets, not necessarily the main roads, but also our side streets, and when there are sidewalks available, too, creating dangerous situations, especially in the dark. If there's a sidewalk provided, use it. Cross at intersections, and pay attention to the 'walk' and 'don't walk' signs. And even if you're doing everything right, you still need to pay attention to traffic.
"I don't understand the invincibility some people feel they have by breaking pedestrian traffic laws, walking in the street, jaywalking," he said. "You may disregard pedestrian traffic laws a thousand times, but then one time you may do the same thing and it can turn out fatal. It could cost you your life."
Copyright 2012 Madison-Park News
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