School girl bumped by SUV

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Be vigilant, says RCMP

A St. Albert RCMP corporal is urging drivers and pedestrians to be more vigilant at crosswalks after a 12-year-old girl received minor injuries after she was bumped by a car while crossing the street Tuesday.

St. Albert RCMP, fire, ambulance and municipal enforcement were called to the corner of Boudreau Road and Sir Winston Churchill Avenue at 7:50 a.m., after the 12-year-old girl was struck by a red 2005 Chevrolet Blazer SUV while crossing the street.

The girl had set off from the southwest corner and was headed northeast towards Parkwood, said Cpl. Laurel Kading.

“She has the green light, she’s crossing legally in the crosswalk area. She’s the only one in the crosswalk area at that time.”

A 53-year-old St. Albert woman driving the SUV then turned left from Sir Winston onto Boudreau and struck the girl in the crosswalk.

“It was at a very low speed, luckily,” Kading said – the driver estimated she was going maybe five km/h.

“She bumped the girl.”

Staff at Ă©cole Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville confirmed that the girl was a student at their school.

The girl was taken to Sturgeon Hospital with very minor injuries, Kading said. Victim Services followed to give emotional aid to the child and her shaken parents.

Catholic board superintendent David Keohane said in a written statement Tuesday afternoon that the student was safe and recovering at home, and staff and students are looking forward to welcoming her back to school,.

“The accident reinforces the importance of ensuring the safety of children on their journeys to and from school.”

Police plan to charge the driver with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, which carries a $575 fine.

There’s no reason to believe that there was anything obscuring the driver’s vision prior to the collision, Kading said. Police have also ruled out weather, alcohol, road conditions and traffic light problems as causes.

“Everything was working properly.”

October mornings are often very dark in Alberta, and that can make it tougher to see pedestrians, Kading said. She urged drivers be extra-vigilant for pedestrians, especially during the morning rush, and advised pedestrians to consider wearing brighter clothes or flashing lights to increase their visibility.

Parents should also remember to serve as good role models for kids by watching traffic and making eye contact with drivers, Kading said.

They should not be texting on their cellphones while walking their kids to school, she added, as she had seen some parents doing in the last week.

“We want to model that we’re looking, we’re vigilant.”

Cindy de Bruijn has three kids that frequent this intersection on their way to and from school, and says she’s lost count of the number of near-hits they’ve been in there due to inattentive drivers.

“We want to drive our kids to school, almost.”

The outrage was evident in de Bruijn’s voice as she noted how this collision occurred just a year after another child (Thomas Wedman) was killed crossing the street at the intersection just up the hill from this one.

“Why didn’t we learn from when we lost Thomas a year ago?” she asked.

“What is it going to take?”

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Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.