Two eighth graders, students at Buddy Taylor Middle School, were struck by a car early Monday morning (Feb. 1) as they were walking to school, sheriff’s office and school officials say. Both students were taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast.
A sheriff’s spokesperson said the trip to the hospital was more cautionary than necessitated by injuries. “I don;t believe anyone was injured,” the spokesperson said.
The incident took place at 6:42 a.m. Initial indications to 911 were that two children had been struck, but were both sitting up–on the ground–at the time that someone called 911. The Palm Coast Fire Department was at the scene within five minutes of the collision and determined that the injuries–if any–were minor, and called off an emergency helicopter that had been placed on standby. Both students, who are eighth graders, were coherent and speaking with a sheriff’s deputy, according to 911 notes.
Both the driver of the vehicle and the two students “gave conflicting accounts of what occurred,” a sheriff’s deputy who reported from the scene stated in a report: The driver said he was going west White View, crossing Belle Terre Pkwy, and had a green light. He told deputies he did not see the pedestrians who were walking north, crossing White View on the crosswalk. Both students told deputies that the crosswalk signal had cleared them to walk.
A deputy was able to make contact by phone with a witness, however. The witness said she was on White View, going east to turn north onto Belle Terre Pkwy. She had a green light and was waiting for the car that was traveling west on White View (and became involved in the collision) to go straight through the intersection so she could make her turn onto Belle Terre Pkwy. She said she did not see the pedestrians crossing White View until they were in the headlights of the westbound car.
After a series of collisions with students on foot or on bicycles between 2015 and 2017, including three fatalities in that time span, collisions involving students have diminished considerably. The school district and Palm Coast at the tail end of the crashes established a safety committee that still meets (it is chaired by Andy Dance, who headed it when he was a school board member and continues to head it as a county commissioner). Several safety measures have been implemented, from reconfigured bus stops to education campaigns.
Whether as a result of the committee’s work or for other reasons, crashes have been few in the last three years. In April 2019 a special needs school bus carrying nine students was involved in a minor collision at Rymfire Drive and Rickenbacker Drive in Palm Coast, during the morning commute. That February a pick-up truck rear-ended a school bus with 40 students aboard on on Laguna Forest Trail. But the last time a student was struck by a vehicle goes back to November 2018, when a 15 year old riding his bicycle was injured when a pick-up truck struck him at the corner of Palm Coast Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway. That incident was not school-related: the 15 year old was riding his bike on a Saturday.
First responders had a busy morning Monday: not long after the incident on Belle Terre and White View, firefighters were called to a house fire on Poney Express Drive in Palm Coast. The fire was out within minutes.
Beverly Taylor says
Has anyone thought about crossing guards? Just sayin’
right! they have them in Port orange along any foot and bike path near schools so if the school says you live too close for bus then they should provide crossing guards in that radius
Carol Caso says
This is a very dangerous intersection for left hand turns. — We NEED GREEN TURN SIGNAL- both ways, – East & West!! Also, this pedestrian signal at this intersection doesn’t always work! I’ve had to “give up” trying to ride my bike across this intersection, South to North, crossing East side of Whiteview.
Concerned Citizen says
You should be walking it anyway. It’s state law and is safer for both parties involved.
Concerned Citizen says
I’m glad no one was sriously injured and want to say this.
Both cars and pedestrians need to slow down and do the right thing when observing the rules of the road. Time and time again I am seeing cars run stop signs,traffic lights and violate pdestrian right aways. But it goes both ways.
I see numerous pedestrians cross against light and ped warnings. And I’ve lost count the number the number that just dart out into traffic. The most notable spots are Cypress Point and A1A near the pier. Folks just step out into traffic. Expecting vehicles to come to a complete stop. Just because you have the right of way doesn’t neccesarily mean you should exercise it. And you are just as obligated to the rules of the road as Motorist and Cyclists are.
Everyone wants safer roads. But it begins with the person behind the wheel,walking across the road or riding that bicycle. Respect goes both ways and is a big factor in making things safer. Everyone needs to slow down just a bit and stop trying to be first. Those few extra seconds really don’t make a difference. And can cause a life time of hurt.
Pedestrians only have the right of way when in a crosswalk. Weather it’s marked or not it is normally at the corners of an intersection or where it is marked. If a pedestrian crosses a street in the middle of the road I believe that is considered jay walking and is against the law.
Glad these two young kids didn’t get seriously hurt.
Concerned Citizen says
That’s the key right there. Law.
I see FCSO and FBPD let a lot of very obvious Pedestrian/Cyclist violations go unchecked. But if you or I speed or run a light/sign we get pulled over. I guess it’s more hassle.
those tickets make easy quick money.
Yes, the FCSO is very lax in enforcing the mentioned pedestrian/cyclist laws but they are equally lax in enforcing traffic laws for motorists. I cannot count the number of times I have witnessed someone roll through a red light to make a right turn with a deputy in the next lane. Then again, why should they write a ticket to John Q. for what they do themselves?
but these are kids and we as drivers adults parents and community members it is our responsibility to look out for them and to be aware of the hours they may travel these routes. it’s our responsibility alone! The children bear no responsibility here. i’m sorry not sorry folks. it is our job to keep them safe if it means a mile long school zone like Indian trails/Belle Terre beginning at 6:30am flocked with flagler sheriffs anxiously awaiting you to speed to remind you with a fat ticker to slow it down and bolo because the kids are in school!!!
Eileen Araujo says
Too many people in a hurry, not following basic traffic laws such as the pedestrian has the right of way. A lot of children walking or biking that time of the morning. Life is too precious to be careless. Unfortunately, a lot of people only learn that when it’s their child laying in the road. BE CAREFUL
Isn’t it the law to walk bikes across cross walk?Nobody stops at them or white line they roll right over it.😡
Concerned Citizen says
Yep Cyclists have to follow the rules of the road just as motorists do. But they seldom do.
The biggest offenders are ones who don’t dismount and walk their bikes. They just keep going and expect vehicle traffic to stop for them. Not caring that if vehicle traffic has a green light they aren’t going to just be able to stop right away. However if a motorist strikes a cyclist they are going to be automatically cited for it.
And I won’t even go on about the ones that just cruise thru stop signs. Especially in the Flagler Beach area. I had one the other day violate my right of way. Then he gave me the finger yelled some expeltives and acted like he wanted to fight. Sorry man you have to stop like we do. And if you don’t you run the risk of not being seen and getting hit.
Again respect both goes ways and makes the roads a lot safer.
I’m glad to hear this incident did not result in significant injuries. I live in the F section, and have seen school kids who just got off of the bus after school walking in a large group down the middle of Fellowship Drive, most of them with their cell phones out and looking not for oncoming traffic but down at their phones. The first time I saw this happen a couple of years ago, I actually stopped on Fellowship when I reached the group of kids, and one teenage girl was walking in the middle of the street right on the striped lane divider paint lines. When I stopped, she was STILL looking at her phone, and I spoke to her, saying that she was being very careless and putting herself in danger. She just looked at me like I was an alien being and continued walking on the center line away from my car. I am a 29-year law enforcement career retiree, and believe me, I have seen more than my share of traffic fatalities involving kids. Too many teens thing they are invincible. That attitude has caused many of them over the years to never make it to adulthood. Parents and grandparents, PLEASE remind your young ones of the dangers they face while walking to and from school or the bus. All pedestrians walking along any street, whether it is in a residential neighborhood or a busier area, should walk on the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic, as close to the edge of the pavement as they can get. I see adults walking on the right side of Fellowship with their backs to oncoming traffic constantly, and cringe every time. They are really putting themselves in danger! Yes, this is common sense, but it deserves a reminder because a 2-ton vehicle is one of the most dangerous things we all encounter on the roads each and every day. Be safe!
When is the city going to put the stop signs back up on the sidewalks on Pine Lakes Parkway for the bicyclists who do not slow down or even look to see if there are any approaching vehicles coming from the side streets. I for one always slow down way before I get close to the sidewalk and then proceed slowly up to stop sign.
I used to live off Pritchard by Buddy Taylor, it was tiring trying to drive on that street after school as the little children, I call them that instead of teens, as they act like little children, walk down the middle of the street, and do not get out of the street for cars. It sometimes appears as if they do it intentionally. It is rude and arrogant. I have also observed drivers, who routinely have their heads wedged in their…………..cellphones while driving. They are little children as well. Common Courtesy, is a commodity in short supply these days, as is common sense.
Perhaps I am missing something here, am I the only one who sees something wrong with young kids walking to school at 6:42 AM? It’s still dark at that time of day. Why on this green earth do these kids have to start school at 7:25 in the morning and get out at 1:40? I am sure there is some good reason like a bus shortage or whatever but there is no excuse for these kids to be walking poorly lit streets and competing with short-tempered late-for-work drivers for space on the roads.
I do not know the actual circumstances here but am hopeful that the lesson to be learned by all is that there are kids out there in the dark walking to school and kids being kids, they need all of us to watch out for them. Thank goodness there were no serious injuries.