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Intersection Safety An Issue After Car Hits Student

Parents were successful last fall in changing speed limit but safety remains a concern.

Last fall, parents asked the village of Huntley to help make the intersection of Haligus and Scott roads safer for school children.

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“Is this what we are waiting to happen?” she said. “Another injury or even worse, a death?”

It happened again Friday when a 12-year-old boy was hit by a car.

Huntley police said the Marlowe Middle School student was taken to Centegra Hospital-Woodstock then transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Neither Huntley police nor Consolidated School District 158 released information Friday about the student’s identity or condition. District 158 Superintendent Dr. John Burkey said school officials are in touch with the family and keeping updated on the student’s condition, which officials said was not life threatening.

“When we have a student who gets hurt it’s a private matter with the student, there’s no announcement and the student’s condition is private,” Burkey said.

“We are obviously very concerned and keeping close tabs on him,” he said. “We all feel terrible, just like any parent does.”

Huntley firefighters responded to the school campus, at 9625 Haligus Road, early Friday and found the student lying on the ground, witnesses said.

Police did not get to interview the student at the scene so it was difficult to determine why he was crossing the street at that time. However, Klunk said it appears a motorist was letting the student cross but the driver in the northbound lane didn’t see the student.

Deputy Chief Michael Klunk said one of the police department’s goals is to reduce traffic crashes and police will look at what can be done to address any issues that might be occurring at the intersection.

Additional signs were posted last fall, he said.

The speed limit was changed from 35 mph to a school speed zone, 20 mph. No parking is allowed on either side of Scott Drive within 100 feet of the intersection. The changes were made after parents approached the village board.

However, no plans were made for traffic lights or a school crossing guard. At the time, Vander felt the changes did not go far enough to prevent another accident.

District 158 is limited about what it can do to make the intersection safe. Its school campuses throughout the district have a “hazardous” designation from the state of Illinois which means all of District 158 qualify for busing.

“We don’t have neighborhood schools like other school districts,” Burkey said. “What happens is we have a hazardous designation for all our campus schools which allows us to get reimbursement for transportation.”

Typically, children who live a mile from school do not qualify for bussing, however, the configuration of the school campuses District 158 has makes it dangerous for school children, he said.

If the district were to get a crossing guard for that intersection, it would no longer keep the hazardous designation and no longer have bus service, Burkey said.

“Our campuses are such that it’s not safe to walk to school,” he said. “Kids should be riding the bus, we discourage kids from walking."

Even if Huntley, the county or the state decided to post traffic lights near any of the campuses, the district would lose the designation and busing services.

Haligus, in particular, is not safe and is a very busy road so the school discourages children from walking, he said.

“But quite frankly, when the weather gets nice, students walk to or from school,” Burkey said. “We discourage it but ultimately, it’s a decision the kids and parents have to make.”

Tracy Palma April 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM
So as parents why do we not come up with a volunteer schedule for crossing guard duty? We volunteer for sports, theater, religious education, classroom helpers, etc. why can we not have a rotation schedule. I'll volunteer first! I will even coordinate a schedule!!!! My children don't even live within walking distance, but this child or the next injured child could be a great friend of your child so by coming together to protect a few we can protect them all!!!!
Debbie Mitchell April 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Tracy, set up a meeting and I will volunteer as well! We need to do something,immediately, before another child gets hurt, thanks.

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