Lansdowne student struck by car Friday while in crosswalk

A first-grade student at Lansdowne Elementary was struck by a vehicle Friday while walking in a crosswalk where a similar accident occurred last month.

The 6-year-old boy, who police and school officials would not identify, was walking to school with a parent in the crosswalk at Lansdowne Drive and Redding Road, Fayette County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said.

The boy was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital with a leg injury after the accident, which occurred at 7:10 a.m. Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said. The boy's condition was not immediately available; however, Lexington Division of Fire spokesman Joe Best said he was in stable condition when he was taken to the hospital.

The boy who was injured on Friday was a former refugee from Nepal who had come here with his family in December 2011, said Dabney Parker, resource coordinator for Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

Roberts said the vehicle ran a red light before striking the child, and that police would consult with the county attorney's office to discuss charges against the 17-year-old driver, whom she would not identify.

Lexington police issued a statement Friday urging motorists to use caution when driving in and near school zones.

Roberts said in an interview that police had received recent complaints about speeding or careless driving in school zones.

Friday's accident was the third time since 2010 that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in crosswalks near Lansdowne Elementary, a school in south Lexington.

Just last month, a grandmother walking a Lansdowne student to school in the same Redding/Lansdowne crosswalk was struck by a vehicle that failed to yield to her, Roberts said. The extent of the grandmother's injuries were not immediately available.

In 2010, a driver whose windshield was covered in ice or snow struck a school crossing guard near Lansdowne Elementary as children were crossing at Redding and Bellmeade roads.

That crossing guard, who according to Herald-Leader archives was not injured, was honored by city officials for preventing a child from being hit by the vehicle.

On Friday, Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said the district will work with the Urban County Government and the Lexington Police Department "to see if we can improve the safety.''

"We always work with the schools on issues of concern and we will again this time," said Susan Straub, spokeswoman for the city.

Roberts said officers have increased presence in school zones in response to the recent complaints and that there was a crossing guard at the intersection of Redding and Lansdowne when the accident occurred. But Roberts said police were asking residents to help make Lexington's school crosswalk areas safer.

"Today was a good time to enlist the help of the public in light of the fact that this young person was struck," she said.

How to help

Lexington police said drivers can help in the following ways:

■ Slow down and be aware. Follow speed limit guidelines and be aware of school children walking to and from school in neighborhoods; especially neighborhoods surrounding schools.

■ Clear ice, frost and snow from vehicle windows and mirrors to ensure that you can see where you are driving and what is going on around you. This is especially important in the early morning before the sun rises.

■ Obey crossing guards and bus stop signals. The stop signs on buses, and those held by crossing guards, should be obeyed just like traditional stop signs.

■ Report violators. Call police, at the non-emergency line (859) 258-3600, if you spot someone driving recklessly or speeding in or near school zones. Be sure to collect information about the vehicle's make, model and license plate.

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