A six-year-old Jacksonville girl didn’t stand a chance when she was hit by an SUV in a Jacksonville crosswalk Saturday morning. Her mother was pushing a stroller with her five-year-old disabled brother crossing San Jose Boulevard near Kori Road. The three were in the furthest southbound lane when the light turned green and a SUV pulled ahead and hit the little girl, killing her at the scene. Her 38-year-old mother was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries including a few broken ribs and a crushed ankle. The brother was not injured.
First Coast News reports that teddy bears and candles have been placed in the area of the traffic pole marking the accident scene.
The family attorney says the family didn’t have enough time to get across the busy San Jose Boulevard Saturday when she was hit. When Channel 4 tried the crosswalk, they found that if you hit the cross button, it gave you 45 seconds before the light turns green. If you don’t hit the button, it gave you 30 seconds – far too short for the busy road. While it is unclear when the family entered the crosswalk, that really doesn’t matter. State law says the pedestrian has the right of way the entire time they are in the crosswalk, as long as they enter the crosswalk with the walk light. An attorney for the family says it is clear that the family didn’t have enough time to cross the six-lane street.
That puts the burden of proof on the family attorney to prove that the city was not following the mandate for crosswalks and pedestrian safety.
Federal law states that the red warning sign must flash for every four feet width of the cross walk. That means a 120 foot wide crosswalk must flash for 30 seconds. While city officials will not say how wide the road is at that location, attorneys for the family may find that the city is liable for shortchanging pedestrians the proper time it takes to cross the street. Our condolences go out to the family of the little girl whose life was cut short by what appears to be someone’s reckless behavior behind the wheel.
But the driver is not off the hook here. He has not been charged, but his background should make investigators take a second look. Channel 4 found that he has had 15 citations in 13 years. That includes seven speeding tickets, two tickets for failing to stop at a stop sign, and careless driving.
Source article: http://www.news4jax.com/news/22040256/detail.html