Driver Not Cited After Hitting Boy Walking To School In Bethany


Wednesday, October 26th 2011, 8:54 am
By: News 9


LaShauna Sewell, News9.com

BETHANY – Bethany Police say a driver who struck a second grader as he was walking to school Wednesday morning will not be cited because the school zone lights were not on at the time of the accident.

Around 7:10 a.m., the boy was walking near N.W. 23rd Street and Rockwell on his way to Western Oaks Elementary School.  He was crossing the street when a woman in a black pickup truck hit him.

An ambulance rushed the child to OU Medical Center.  He was conscious at the time.  Bethany Police say he suffered a broken pelvis, a bruised liver, and a hairline fracture and bruising on his face.

The driver who struck the boy told News 9 the child darted in front of her vehicle and she did not see him before she hit him.  She says there was also no crossing guard on duty at the time.  Both the principal of Western Oaks Elementary School and Steve Lindley, the Communications Director for Putnam City Schools, said the crossing guard does not come on duty until 7:15 a.m.

Principal Drew Eichelberger sent a letter home to parents about the accident.  He said he'd spent time with the student and his family at the hospital, and he and the school community wished the boy a speedy recovery.

Principal Eichelberger said parents should use the incident as an opportunity to reinforce safety rules to children:

As principal, I sometimes hear from people in the area that children are not being safe crossing major streets. Children don't always crossing at crosswalks as they should, and they don't always obey signals telling them when to walk. Whenever such information comes my way, I remind students over the intercom or in assemblies about how to be safe. I know our teachers also talk with students about being safe walkers.

Read Principal Eichelberger's full letter.

Lindley said the district often discusses traffic safety with its students.

"It is a very busy roadway," said Lindley.  "There have been instances up there at that stop light up there or on Rockwell where students have been hit, and other people as well."