On the morning of Sept. 25, an 11-year-old girl activated the beacon at the crosswalk on Highway 211 and Hezzie near the Stoneplace Apartments in Molalla. When the beacon started flashing, she began to cross the highway, but was struck by a car traveling east on the highway.
Later that week, police were unsure whether or not the school girl remained in the hospital, but thought she had been treated and released.
The driver was cited to go to court, but was not impaired. The driver stopped the car and cooperated fully with police, Lieutenant Chris Long of the Molalla Police told the Pioneer. He also said the city and ODOT were made aware of the accident.
At a school board meeting on Sept. 26, community member Michael Giard brought up the district's use of the funding from the Student Success Act, since one of the allowable uses for funding is for safety.
"I hope I don't have to remind you of the child who was hit in the crosswalk on Highway 211 this week," Giard said. "One of the buckets of money is student safety. I think a top priority should be looking at having a [teacher on special assignment] assigned to that crosswalk Monday through Friday in the morning and the afternoon as a crossing guard. This would fall under the safety bucket. I would hate to be able to point at…your inaction as an enabler for when another child gets hit, and God forbid, killed crossing that stretch of highway on their way to school."
The girl was heading to Molalla River Middle School. This is the second accident injuring a child at that intersection in two years. The other incident involved a child returning home from school. The City Council had advocated for more than a flashing beacon and painted crosswalk at the intersection, but Oregon's Department of Transportation said something stronger wasn't necessary.
It might become an even more important subject because Cascade Center will be built next door to the complex. The city, a number of residents and the developer have asked ODOT to put a stoplight at the center to eliminate traffic problems. In fact, the developer has offered to use its own labor to pay for and put in the stoplight.
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