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Child struck by hit-and-run driver in Turlock

The Turlock Police Department is seeking information from the public on the identity of the driver who hit a child and then fled the scene.

The hit and run happened shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Lander and Linwood avenues.

The child, a student at Turlock Junior High School, was hit while crossing Linwood Avenue to get to the city bus stop near Cunningham Elementary School.

The child sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to an area hospital, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Parmley. The Turlock Unified School District said on Wednesday that the boy was “alert and awake.”

The vehicle was described as an older model blue car and it was last seen turning into the parking lot of the nearby Save Mart.

The driver of the vehicle was described as a white male adult between 30 to 50 years old with a scruffy beard. He was wearing an orange and yellow security vest, Parmley said.

The hit and run marked the second time in a week that a child has been hit by a car. The other collision happened around 3:30 p.m. Feb. 7 near Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy as the child was crossing S. Soderquist Road.

The child had minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital as a precaution. The driver in that incident remained at the scene, Parmley said.

A 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that motor vehicle crashes, which includes pedestrians struck by vehicles, was the number one cause of death for children and adolescents.

When walking or biking to school, the California Office of Traffic Safety reminds parents and guardians of important safety tips to teach children when they are on the go:

• Look left-right-left before crossing the street. Continue looking for cars as you cross.

• Use crosswalks whenever possible, preferably at stop signs or signals.

• Make eye contact with drivers. Make sure they see you before crossing the street.

• Walk with friends or a group.

• Avoid using a cell phone or listening to music while walking.

The California Office of Traffic Safety reminds drivers that pedestrians have the right of way at any crosswalk or intersection, so drivers must yield and be prepared to stop. The OTS also has the following safety tips for drivers:

• Don’t speed, follow the speed limit and never use your phone; always be cautious of your surroundings.

• Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

• Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.

• Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to pedestrians too.

• Be cautious when backing up – pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path.