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Teen hit walking to school sparks concern | #schoolsaftey

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – The new school year just kicked off and safety in and around school zones has been a hot topic.

It will likely continue to be a hot topic after what happened in front of Culler Middle School Tuesday morning. That’s where a teen was crossing the street to head to classes when they were hit by a passing car just before 8 a.m. As of now, Lincoln Police have yet to catch up with that driver.

The mother of the teen that was hit didn’t want to speak, however 10/11 NOW spoke with another mother here in Lincoln about what happened at Culler Middle School. She knows as good as anyone, when it comes to just how dangerous school zones can really be.

“You just, kinda flash back to that day and it’s hard,” said Jade Stanley.

Her daughter, Sage, went through a similar incident when she was hit by someone in front of Saratoga Elementary back in 2016.

“Your heart drops and just everything kinda runs through your head, worst case scenario, best case scenario,” Jade said.

Tuesday’s scare comes as enforcement around school zones is ramping up.

The Back to School Traffic Safety Program assigns LPD officers to be out near schools to watch for things like speeding in school zones, running red lights and drives going around stopped school busses.

“The goal isn’t just to go out there and write people tickets,” said Sergeant Sara Genoways, LPD Traffic Unit Supervisor. “The goal is try to prevent these crashes.”

Jade things that schools, like Culler, should learn from stories like Sage’s.

“The work they did around Saratoga, won an award,” Jade said. “Because they made so many different changes and some were very innovative.”

As for Jade, she hopes what happened to her daughter, and what happened on Tuesday, can serve as a lesson to drivers hitting the roads in the morning and afternoon.

“Put the phone down, no distracted driving of any sort in those areas especially just, let our kids get to school safe,” Jade said. “We have enough to worry about as parents.”

Police said the driver who hit that student drives a small, black SUV and was last seen driving east on Vine Street after the crash. Anyone with information is encouraged to call LPD at (402) 441-6000 or Crime Stoppers at (402) 475-3600.

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