The Accident on Day Miar Road

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The Accident on Day Miar Road

A student drives in the school parking lot to head home.

A student drives in the school parking lot to head home.

Lilly Dunn

A student drives in the school parking lot to head home.

Lilly Dunn

Lilly Dunn

A student drives in the school parking lot to head home.

Osaivbie Uhunmwuangho, ENN Staff

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A freshman at Lake Ridge was hit by a car in front of the school a little after 3pm on Friday, September 6th. The student was trying to cross the two-lane road of Day Miar to reach his ride who was parked at Rush Creek Church, a building that is directly across from the school baseball field.

Michelle Nguyen, senior, was there when the accident happened. While she did not see the instant impact that happened, she saw the immediate aftermath and what was going on around the student who was hit.

“I was on the bus on my way home from school. I remember the bus driver saying, ‘Oh my gosh! A kid got hit by a car! A kid got hit by a car!’ People started getting up and leaning over. The bus in front of us turned to the side, and it opened up the view, and there was a boy laying on the side of the road,” said Nguyen. “Students were starting to cluster. Cars were stopping. People were getting out and trying to check up on him,” said Nguyen.

After witnessing the accident, Nguyen said she noticed certain reactions from the people who were on the bus with her. The bus driver seemed the most affected, trying to keep her tears back.

“I think our bus driver was the one most shaken up because while she was driving away, she was saying how hard it is not to cry, especially because she saw it first hand. The people who were around him were really concerned. They were trying to move his body off of the road and onto the grassy area,” said Nguyen. “That was when police started coming and they were blocking off the area. After maybe 15, 20 minutes, it [the traffic] started moving up again. We saw the sirens and the ambulance was coming.”

An important step for an accident like this one is to notify the administration. Brandon Johnson, principal of Lake Ridge, said when he found out about it, he was immediately worried about the well-being of the student.

“I was notified by one of our administrators that an accident happened. I called her and she gave me the details of the situation. When I first heard it occurred, there was the initial shock and concern of the safety of our students, but I really just dived into what happened, where it happened, when it happened, how it happened,” said Johnson.

Johnson says that the responsibility to protect students once they are on or off school grounds depends on where they are located at.

“The role of the district in protecting students lies with the location of the students. On our premises, the district has the responsibility and authority to protect students. Once students enter the roadway, that’s on the city of Mansfield and the city of Grand Prairie, unless there is a crossing guard, which falls under the MISD police. I think it’s important to know that we as a district do not control the roadway,” said Johnson.

Johnson says there are many factors that go into being informed on crosswalk safety. This includes starting with a talk at home. He has seen both walkers and cars do careless actions while on the road.

“There are numerous things that can happen, and I think it [safety precautions] starts with a conversation at home about safety and walking down the street. I think it also goes to the need to have sidewalks on our roads, which is not something the school district controls,” said Johnson. “In overall awareness, I’ve seen students cross the street without looking. I’ve seen cars going too fast in the middle of the school zone. I’ve seen all kinds of things that are not safe. I think it’s really a key to make sure drivers are paying attention and walkers are paying attention as they cross.

Rush Creek is the church that is across the street from Lake Ridge. Many students like to park there when they don’t have the required parking sticker the district requires in order to be able to park in a school’s parking lot. According to Johnson, the church has different branches, and the one by Lake Ridge is not the main church. Therefore, people are not patrolling the church at all times, making it difficult to know when students park there. The church has also started blocking off entrances to prevent students from parking in their lot.

Lilly Dunn
Cones placed at the entrance of Rush Creek Church’s parking lots.

“We continue to talk to students to make sure they aren’t parking at Rush Creek. I have communicated with the church. One of the measures they put in place is they continue to put up cones and they’re going to begin to tow people parking on their property. One of the things in my communication with them that I found out was that people believe that there are people at the church all day, everyday. But actually, it’s a satellite campus that doesn’t have someone stationed out of the church building frequently,” said Johnson.

When accidents happen at a school, it is important that at least the administration know the steps to follow in order to ensure student safety. Johnson says that the school must follow certain protocols to prevent events that are risky for the school.

“A lot of principals don’t get trained in these issues. We are trained in emergency management, but that could look very different in any given situation, so we utilize in our building standard response protocol for the school. We also take emergency management seminars and things like that,” said Johnson.

Johnson says he does see room for improvement of the road that he thinks should be taken into account that will allow for safer travels.

“I think the two-lane road of Day Miar is safe. I do believe that our infrastructure needs to improve and Day Miar needs to be widened and have sidewalks. But then again, there are a lot of things that go into that, and I realize that while I might believe one thing, there are other government entities that are making the decisions of what gets prioritized,” said Johnson

 

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