By Arthur Elk
I was horrified to read about a terrible accident that took place last week involving a 5-year-old Akron boy.
Joshua Shaw, 5, and his older sister Jadynn, 9, were walking home from Judith A. Resnik Elementary School when the unthinkable happened. Jadynn crossed the street first and made it safely, but when Joshua followed, he was struck by a car. The driver got out of his car and started running toward Joshua, saying he was sorry. After the brief apology, the unidentified driver got back in the car and drove away.
Joshua underwent a two-hour surgery the next day to repair his left leg which was broken in two places. One of his bones was completely shattered, so doctors had to use nails to repair it. Joshua will be in a cast and use a wheelchair for the next two months while his leg heals. Police are still looking for the hit-and-run driver.
According to SafeKidsUSA, since 2000, an average of 400 children (under the age of 14) were killed each year in pedestrian accidents. In 2010 (the most recent year numbers are available for), there were about 256 child pedestrian fatalities recorded in the U.S. In addition, there were close to 15,000 child pedestrians injured in these same scenarios. That is way too many young people hurt and killed by drivers.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers the following tips:
- Supervise your children constantly – especially when they’re near parked or moving vehicles, or playing near streets or driveways.
- Hold your child’s hand when crossing streets, walking along streets and in parking lots
- Show your child how to walk facing traffic when there’s no sidewalk.
- Demonstrate how to cross the street by stopping at the curb or street’s edge and looking left-right-left for traffic before crossing.
- Children age 10 and under do not have the skill sets to manage traffic situations by themselves. They must be supervised closely by an adult or young adult.
- Set a good, safe example when walking on streets or sidewalks and when crossing roads.
The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk want all young people to be aware of the dangers they face when they are walking near roadways. Please take the time to educate them and supervise them. Their safety depends on it.