School Zone Dangers Concern Parents

Just a normal trip to pick up her child from school quickly turned dangerous for a Meridian woman Tuesday night. Meridian police say she was walking southbound on 40th Avenue to get her child at West Hills Elementary when she was struck by a blue SUV traveling in the same direction.

"She was right in the edge of the roadway, walking kind of close to the curb, and he was focusing on a van that was on further down the road in front of him," Lt. John Griffith explains.

The injured woman is being treated at Anderson Hospital, where she remained in critical condition Wednesday due to the head trauma she suffered.

Griffith says this doesn't appear to be a case of criminal negligence, and there are no charges at this time.

Other parents tell us they've seen this woman walking every day and were horrified to see what happened.

"That's a busy road. That lady that got hit; I thought it was a child because I rode up there coming to get the kids, and I'm thinking it was a child," Latora Brown said.

Parents say the school has recently been enforcing a policy that students within a mile of the building can no longer ride the bus. Brown, along with other parents, worry that this same sort of accident could happen to them or their children.

"What if I need to take my kids because I don't have a vehicle? And I have a baby, and something like that would have happened? Then, who's going to be responsible?" Mary Villegas, another concerned parent, asked.

Griffith says this is an example of why you should always stay alert near schools.

"Everywhere you drive, you need to be aware of what's going on around you, but especially in school zones where there's a high likelihood of pedestrians being in the area," Griffith said.

And he says pedestrians should always walk against the flow of traffic, so they can see traffic coming their way on their side of the road.