Traffic arrow sought after Maple Ridge teens hit

Mom saw school girls mowed down on 207th Street, wants more traffic control

Madison Blackburn (front)

Madison Blackburn (front)

Susan Taylor never again wants to see or hear about school children being mowed down in a crosswalk.

Three high school girls weren’t seriously hurt in the accident Thursday afternoon at Dewdney Trunk Road at 207th Street, but Taylor is still feeling the effects after witnessing the incident.

“I saw the accident. I helped the girls and it really shook me up,” she said Monday. “I came home and I just broke down.”

Taylor was on her way to pick up her son Nash, 15, at Westview secondary when she saw the accident.  A small car southbound on 207th Street, trying to turn west on to Dewdney Trunk Road, hit head-on three girls who were in the crosswalk trying to cross from north to south to get home.

“They were moving from north to south and [the motorist] struck all three of them – and the cries and the screams, it was horrible.

“They were shocked, they were crying, they were hurt,” she said of the three.

Taylor saw the whole thing and helped the girls until an ambulance came.

“It was very traumatic for me seeing that.”

All were treated for minor injuries.

Sisters Bailey and Madison Blackburn sustained minor injuries, mostly cuts and bruises. But their friend hit her head and remains in hospital with blurry vision.

Taylor pointed out her son Nash usually makes the same crossing twice a day as he walks from his home on the south side of Lougheed Highway to Westview. Sometimes it’s difficult for motorists just to see the pedestrians in the crosswalk.

It’s more difficult for her son, who has a disability and walks with a limp. While there’s a pedestrian-controlled walk light, it barely leaves enough time for people to cross before drivers of westbound vehicles are bearing down.

“It could have been a lot worse. Something has to happen before somebody gets killed.”

For Taylor, what has to happen is the installation of an advance green arrow to remove the conflict between vehicles turning west on to Dewdney Trunk and pedestrians in their path who are trying to make it through the crosswalk.

“The [drivers’] mentality is, ‘I’ve got the green light and I’m going.’”

She plans on talking to Westview secondary administration and asking the District of Maple Ridge for that light. She says the speeding east and westbound traffic on Dewdney Trunk Road doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Maple Ridge public works is waiting for a report from police before considering whether to follow up with intersection improvement.

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