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UPDATE: City of Penticton will install 4-way stop after child hit in crosswalk

The 4-way stop will go in this summer at Duncan Avenue East and Columbia Street
The Duncan Ave. E and Columbia Street intersection features three crosswalks that are used by many young people going to and from school. (Google Maps)

The City of Penticton will be installing a four-way stop at the intersection of Duncan Avenue East and Columbia Street after a girl was struck by a vehicle on her way to school last week.

“Staff have reviewed the area and will be installing a four-way stop at the intersection as part of broader traffic calming measures that were already planned for Lawrence Avenue to address speeding,” said city communication manager Shane Mills on Friday. “The tender is out now and that work would happen later this summer.

A Penticton mom spoke out last week, begging drivers to slow down and pay attention to the road, not their phones after her daughter was hit while using the crosswalk at Duncan Avenue East and Columbia Street on Monday, June 12.

Nick said her daughter has a broken arm, bruises and is very shaken up by the incident.

“She did everything right, stopped waited for traffic to pass, then proceeded in a crosswalk,” said mom. “Halfway through the crosswalk there is no way she can get out of the way when the driver is not looking. What is a child supposed to do?”

Her daughter was on her way to school at 7:40 a.m. when the vehicle hit her, sending her up onto the hood.

Upon arrival, first responders tended to the child, and spoke with witnesses, including the driver of the vehicle, said Penticton RCMP.

The child was taken to hospital.

“The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and was fully cooperative with the investigation. There is no indication that speed or impairment was a factor,” said Cpl. James Grandy. “The driver was issued a violation ticket for failing to yield to a pedestrian. This is a reminder for both pedestrians and drivers to be cautious when driving during times when children are coming and going from school,” he added.

Columbia Elementary is right in this area and many children use that crosswalk to go to school.

Several people commented that vehicles go ‘entirely too fast up and down Duncan in the morning and are ‘always distracted.’

Others say traffic down the hill has increased since the Sendero neighbourhood was built. There are actually three crosswalks at that intersection.

Before the city said it would install a four-way stop, a parent who has walked her children across that crosswalk for 10 years said the area needs a four-way stop or a stop light.

Many commented it was only a matter of time before someone was hit there.

Penticton is looking to make safer routes to school for kids with a new pilot project but currently, that doesn’t include Columbia Elementary.

READ MORE: Penticton partnering with local schools to make safer routes

In the meantime, the child’s mom has a message for all drivers.

”Please I beg and implore people, to please put your phone down, leave five minutes early, slow down and be aware. I almost lost my child today from such thoughtlessness. She is very scared and unsure of the world and fearful now,” said Nick on Facebook.

-The Western News did not use Nick’s last name to protect the child who was hit.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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