Pre-dawn accident occurred in unguarded crosswalk on Southern Ave.
A 13 year-old student from Cactus Canyon Junior High School was hit by a car on Thursday morning ,11-30-17, injuring the student’s leg.
The accident occurred before dawn, at around 6:30 a.m., when the student was in the crosswalk at Southern Ave and S. Valley Dr.
Both Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) and Superstition Fire & Medical (SFMD) responded to the accident within 15 minutes of each other, and the student was treated at the scene for a broken leg and then transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
AJPD reported that “The driver was en route to drop her child off at school and did not see the student crossing in the crosswalk. The driver exhibited no signs of impairment.”
The part of Southern Ave. where the accident occurred is well-lit at that time of day, and the crosswalk is marked by a center-lane sign advising drivers to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
When The News visited the scene at 6:30 a.m. the following day, Apache Junction City Manager Bryant Powell and Parks Ranger Kelly Martin were also assessing the area.
“I’ve gotten more than 20 messages on social media requesting more lighting here, but none asking for later school start times,” Powell said. “I came to see if there is even electricity available here to add lights.”
Currently, the area is very well lit, but it was suggested that blinking barricade-style lights might be added to the center-lane signs.
Martin said that on school days, the flood lights at the Aquatic Center and Skate Park to the south are also on. He also said that he has seen students run through the crosswalk without slowing from a run or looking at traffic.
There is a crossing guard stationed at San Marcos Dr. to the east, as well as an AJPD officer, but there are no crossing guards at the S. Valley Dr. crosswalk.
Officials at SFMD posted a request to drivers: “Please remember to take extra caution and utilize patience while driving through school zones and crosswalks—especially during the winter months before the sun is up.