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Seneca Valley Student Struck by Vehicle While Walking to School

Montgomery County Police confirmed that an 18-year-old Seneca Valley High School student was struck by a vehicle as he attempted to cross Middlebrook Road at about 7:15 am Monday morning, October 9.

Monday afternoon, Seneca Valley’s Principal Marc Cohen sent an email home to parents informing them of the incident and urging parents to speak with their students about the importance getting to a from school safely.

“This morning,” wrote Cohen, “one of our students was struck by a vehicle on his way to school. While his injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, this student now faces some very serious injuries. Our entire school community wishes him a speedy recovery.”

5th District Commander Mark Plazinski confirmed that an 18-year-old male student was running across Middlebrook Road at the intersection of Crystal Rock Drive, when he came in contact with a vehicle. Plazinski said the investigation seemed to indicate contributing factors from both the driver and the pedestrian. He said both the driver and victim remained at the scene and were very cooperative. While in the student was in the crosswalk at the time of the incident, according to Plazinski, the student ran into the side of the vehicle as it was making the turn onto Middlebrook Road. Police are unsure of the status of the light at the time of the incident. No charges are expected in this case, said Plazinski.

The injured student was transported by Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service EMS to Suburban Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

In his note to parents, Cohen urged parents to take time to discuss the incident with their students. “On October 31, 2012, the Seneca Valley High School community mourned the loss of a student who was fatally struck by a car as she walked to school,” said Cohen.

He was referring to the 2012 death of Christina Morris-Ward, who was killed while crossing Germantown Road near Wisteria Drive while distracted by her cell phone.

“What made that incident so tragic, was that it could have been avoided. In the days, weeks, months, and years since, we have tried to reinforce the importance of practicing safe pedestrian habits. We have made phone calls home, announcements over the PA system, and our students have created public service videos. Additionally, we have posted a constant stream of pedestrian safety messages on our marquee, and we have even reinforced appropriate pedestrian behavior by partnering with the Montgomery County Police Department to address the issue of jaywalking.”

Each year more than 400 crashes involving pedestrians occur on Montgomery County roadways. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, teens ages 15 through 19 make up half of all underage pedestrian fatalities. And in Montgomery County, when pedestrians are found at fault in collisions, they are most often teens in this age group. Many teens take undue risks when crossing the street, or they walk while distracted by texting, playing handheld games, listening to music, or talking on the phone.

“Please take some time to speak with your child about the importance of pedestrian safety,” wrote Cohen.

File Photos by Germantown Pulse.

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