A 12-year-old girl remains hospitalized in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle while darting across traffic in front of Turlock Junior High School Wednesday afternoon.
The TJHS student sustained head trauma and injuries to her lower extremities, said Turlock Police spokesman Lt. Nino Amirfar. She has regained consciousness and is critical but in stable condition, Amirfar said.
The girl was struck while trying to cross N. Walnut Road between Christoffersen Parkway and Monte Vista Avenue, around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Traffic on the four-lane road is frequently congested around that time as students are released from school and parents are arriving to pick them up.
According to the police department, the girl had run across the southbound lanes and the turn lane before she was hit by a sports utility vehicle traveling in the northbound lane closest to the median line.
The driver of the SUV was going about 25 to 30 mph when impact occurred, Amirfar said.
“It appears as if she ran out in front of him and he hit his brakes, but couldn’t stop in enough time,” Amirfar said.
Robin Mounts was at the school to pick up her son and was a witness to the accident.
“The bell rang and she just came running out before the gentleman had a chance to slam on his brakes and he hit her,” Mounts said. “As a mother of four, it was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”
Amirfar said the driver called 911 and offered aid to the young girl. The investigation is continuing, but at this point, law enforcement does not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the collision.
Because of the girl’s severe injuries, an air ambulance was dispatched and landed near the scene of the collision. The girl was flown to a hospital in the Sacramento area that specializes in trauma care, Amirfar said.
The accident happened outside of a crosswalk. The campus is buffeted by crosswalks at Christoffersen and Monte Vista and the school does utilize crossing guards.
Mounts said it’s been her experience that school officials give students citations and/or detention for jaywalking.
School officials did not return a phone call for comment.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.