Schools are often considered to be places of growth, exploration and opportunity for developing young minds. However, they are, on occasion, also the scene of tragedy-including pedestrian accidents.
A 7-year-old girl was killed, and her 5-year-old sister and aunt injured, when an SUV ploughed through the street where they were crossing in front of Parkview Elementary School. The accident happened at about 3:30 p.m.; relatives indicated that they believed the trio was on their way home from school at the time of the accident. Currently, authorities are investigating the accident, but do not think that drugs or alcohol was involved. The driver of the SUV, an adult male, is cooperating with authorities.
Drivers are always required to exercise reasonable care when on the road, but this duty of care is heightened when they are around or near areas where they know or should know that children are likely to be present. These areas include schools, parks and playgrounds, as well as others. A failure to use the appropriate measure of care, termed negligence, can be shown by speeding, including in a school zone, or failing to obey other traffic laws. Failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk can also constitute negligence.
Pedestrians must also use a certain level of care, or they can be considered negligent under the law. Crossing where there is no crosswalk, or when there is no "walk" signal, or otherwise stepping into traffic, can be negligence on the part of the pedestrian.
Relatives and neighbors noted that speeding is widespread in the area in which the accident occurred and that a petition requesting that the city install speed bumps was unsuccessful.. The girls' mother indicated that are no crossing guards in the area.
Source: mercurynews.com, "San Jose: Investigation continues into accident that killed 5-year-old-girl," Mark Gomez and Eric Kurhi
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