OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The John Rex Charter School District was shaken Tuesday morning when an elementary school student was hit by a car during morning rush hour traffic.
Hansucker Legal Group, a law firm located right next to John Rex Elementary School, discovered the accident through surveillance, but was unable to release the footage to News 4.
But we saw the footage.
It revealed the driver stopped by the drop off line to Dewey and Sheridan’s school just before 8am.
According to the Oklahoma City Police Department accident report, the driver was about to make a left turn into Sheridan after dropping off a child at school.
“U1 [the driver] She said she knew it would be a busy time, so she made sure all the crosswalks were clear and no cars were coming. I started making my turn, U1 said he didn’t see any pedestrians while he was turning.”
Surveillance said the family entered the middle of the lane in which the driver was about to make a right turn and hit one of the children head-on.
The driver appears to be driving between 5 and 10 miles per hour.
The boy was beaten while the adults and other children fended off the accident.
The video shows the boy rolling onto the hood of the vehicle, both feet off the ground.
He then rolled on the passenger side of the vehicle and tumbled onto the asphalt.
After that, the driver immediately stopped the car and got out, so the boy ran to the nearest sidewalk.
According to reports, eyewitnesses said they heard a “loud noise” when the accident happened.
Patrick Duffy, Interim Principal of John Rex Charter School, said:
Duffy said this was the first time he had seen such an incident happen to one of his students.
John Hunsucker of Hunksucker Legal Group told KFOR that the incident was heartbreaking to watch, but he wasn’t surprised it happened.
The crosswalk that the students hit is designed like a film reel because the area is in the Film District of downtown OKC.
Pedestrian crossings blend into the asphalt, making it difficult to see drivers.
There are other intersections around the school, but the one where the boy was run over is the only one that has no traffic lights, no 4-way stop sign, no thick white crosswalk lines.
“Nobody realizes this is actually a crosswalk.
There is also an “End School Zone” sign right next to the elementary school and next to the crosswalk.
Hansucker does not blame the school for what happened.
he said: His parents are very methodical. They are doing a really good job considering people want them out. “
But OKC City needs to step up, he says.
Hunsucker said he saw a driver fly over the area and estimated it to be between 35 and 40 mph.
“They really need better traffic enforcement and speed enforcement. It’s too fast, especially in school areas,” he added.
Hansucker said this is also not a new concern, but an ongoing issue that has been going on for several years.
He and his staff even said they are extra careful when crossing pedestrian crossings as the area is accident prone.
Another company told KFOR off-camera that the lines to get to and from school are so long that they often find it difficult to get home after work.
They told KFOR they saw a car that nearly caused multiple accidents trying to get over it.
The John Rex Charter School plans to divert traffic to another street with visible crosswalks.
“[We’ll] We keep families in marked spaces where traffic is more aware of it, and we have additional lights and marked intersection safety,” Duffy said.
He said Wednesday morning’s traffic flow “felt much better with families crossing at safer crosswalks that paid more attention to the community.”
A parent who wished to remain anonymous told News 4 an email all parents received Tuesday night detailing the latest safety features the school is currently implementing in response to the incident. . it reads:
In light of recent incidents during Tuesday morning drop-off, we are taking immediate action to ensure the safety of our students, families and staff.
• Fully closing the North/Blue Gate drop-off and pickup area. All walkers will be directed to the main entrance of the school for morning and afternoon transfers. The walking option is for students who live within walking distance to the school. o Drop-off: Front doors will open immediately at 7:45 for students whose parents are dropping them off at the school building.
Students must be walked to the door by a parent. This door will be closed at her 8:00 and students arriving late must be checked in by a parent.
• Pickup: Parents who normally pick up at the North/Blue Gate will use the same procedure as before, but will be picked up at the front door. Make sure you have your car tag in hand and do not go outside on the sidewalk behind the cones. Students will be called to meet you there.
• Please do not allow your family to cross Sheridan, except at the lighted crosswalk at the intersection of Sheridan and Walker. Staff will direct families down the block to cross only at traffic lights.
• There is a designated accessible parking lot in front of the main entrance of the school, available only to those with special needs to the school. We ask parents to make room for students and families who need accessible support to get to school.
• The Transportation Board met today to make the following demands to the City’s Department of Public Works and the City’s Transportation Board.
• Immediate white crosswalk striping across all four Dewey and Sheridan crosswalks
• Install four-way stop signs in Dewey and Sheridan, requiring all drivers to stop at the intersection.
• Install three-way stop signs in Walker and California and require all drivers to stop at the intersection.
• A ‘Right Turn Only’ sign must be posted at Dewey at the West Gate dropoff and all vehicles must turn right onto Sheridan during dropoff and pickup times.
• Post “no right turn” signs in California. This makes it impossible to enter Dewey facing north at car drop-off and pick-up times.
• In the long term, Dewey and Sheridan are asking the city to stop traffic lights entirely and Walker and California to have half blocks of signalized crosswalks. This often takes years to be approved, but the request is made to get the ball rolling.
We want to assure you that the safety of our students, families and staff is of utmost importance to us. I appreciate evervon’s patience until my habits change. As we continue to work on these requests, we will need input from our stakeholders in the future, so keep an eye on how your voice is needed. We appreciate your support and feedback as we continue to ensure the safety of John Rex.
Parents told KFOR that the email only warranted a “temporary fix,” and that concerns about the safety of students walking the Dewey and Sheridan crosswalk “have been raised to the board many times.” there is,” he said.
News 4 reached out to the child’s father, who told KFOR in a text. I have some bruises/scratches on my face and chest. “
Another child in the video did not appear to have been hit by a car, but the father said his daughter also had scrapes on her knees.
He said they returned to school today and were surprised by cards from teachers and friends.
Oklahoma City’s Christy Yeager said the city has been contacted by the school and is waiting for a formal request for traffic restrictions.
Such decisions are made by the Transportation Commission.
Oklahoma City Police told KFOR they believe it was an accident and will not be charging the driver at this time.
OKCPD said the driver was not affected and did not act negligently.
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