Parents want reduced speed limit around Lamar Middle School

AUSTIN -- Parents are asking for change after a student at Lamar Middle School was struck by a car Thursday afternoon.

According to police, a car hit him as he crossed White Rock and Allendale Road, which turns into Koening Lane at the Burnet Road intersection. The area where the student was hit does not have a crosswalk or a reduced speed limit, even though the school sits only about 150 yards away.

"I checked my phone and everyone was texting me saying someone got hit by a car," said Lamar Middle School student Stella Shenkman. "I felt like sick, like I was going to throw up whenever I realized that someone else had gotten hit almost by the same intersection that my brother did."

On May 30, 2012, Stella's brother Jack and his friends crossed at Burnet Road and Romeria Drive behind the school. Although in the crosswalk, the 12-year old did not have the right of way and became the victim of a hit-and-run crash.

"He turned and saw that he was about to get hit by a van which is what saved his life because he dove forward and the van hit him, and flipped him and then ran over his leg," said Shenkman's mother Kelly Hill.

Doctors had to scrub tire out of Jack's foot and treat seven broken bones. Hill said after the accident, the city put up signs indicating there is a school zone cross walk. But she noted the signs do not read "School Zone" and the speed limit remained the same.

Another accident involving a student occurred at the same intersection in May 2014.

Aiden Martinez-Janes' mother says her son had the right-of-way when a driver hit him. That person also took off. Martinez-Janes was sore, but not injured and went on into school.

The parents say they want the speed limit around the school reduced and signs that read "School Zone" and blinking lights added.

"If people are flying down the street and don't, aren't looking for kids, and don't know they need to slow down, there's going to be accidents. I just feel like I don't want to see a child die there," said HIll.

The street right along the front of the school does have signs that read "School Zone" and a reduced speed limit. KVUE News asked City of Austin staff why similar measures are not on the Burnet Road side of the school, where so many young students walk, and staff said it's because that area has three crosswalks for students.

Koening Lane is operated by the Texas Department of Transportation. KVUE News reached out to staff there, but we did not get a response.

AISD already has four crossing guards around the school and before students left Friday, the principal reminded them to use crosswalks and watch for cars.


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