Truckee area students struck by cars, leading schools to encourage safe driving
School district officials are urging drivers to slow down and watch out for students following two separate accidents last week in which two students were struck by vehicles while crossing the street.
“We want to urge people to remember to slow down especially when kids are on their way to school,” said Kelli Twomey, coordinator of parent and community relations for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.
On May 8, an Alder Middle School student was hit walking through the crosswalk at the roundabout of Pioneer Trail and Donner Pass Road on the way to school. When the student began crossing the road a school bus stopped to let them pass. Another vehicle on the other side of the school bus, however failed to see the student, continued through the roundabout and struck the student. The student was immediately taken to Tahoe Forest Hospital and evaluated and released later that day with minor injuries, according to Twomey.
Later that same day a student from Forest Charter School was walking downtown after school and was struck by a vehicle while walking through a crosswalk in the middle of downtown. According to Janice Eggers, assistant director at the school, the car was moving fairly slow but still knocked the student to the ground.
Eggers said the student called the accident “no big deal” and only suffered from scrapes and bruises.
“We definitely put different things out here in the commerce center to remind people to drive slow,” said Eggers, noting signs warning drivers of student activity in the parking lot. “Hopefully they’re using those same skills off campus as well.”
This summer the Town of Truckee is undergoing various roadwork projects that will increase pedestrian safety. The next phase of the Envision Donner Pass Road Project is already underway with sidewalk and crosswalk improvements along the road in front of Truckee High School and Sierra Expeditionary Learning School.
The existing crosswalks are going to be fitted with refuge islands in the middle of the street and the crossing distance shortened for improved safety. The project should be completed in November according to Dan Wilkins, public works director for the Town of Truckee.
While construction will not begin until 2021, the Reimagine Bridge Street Project, at the intersections of Donner Pass Road and East and West River streets is expected to increase pedestrian safety, with either roundabouts or stop lights to slow traffic down and additional sidewalk improvements.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.