A 12-year-old boy was injured after being struck by a vehicle on Friday, Nov. 13.
Police said the boy, who reportedly suffered a broken leg, was crossing a crosswalk at the Moilliet Street and Despard Avenue intersection, when a 69-year-old Parksville man driving north on Despard Avenue struck him with his vehicle.
According to a parent, Sarah Weikum, who was picking up her two children at Springwood Elementary School, the boy was hit shortly after school was dismissed.
He is expected to make a full recovery, according to Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP.
In an email to PQB News, Foreman said the driver remained at the scene and was co-operative with investigators and that alcohol and speed were not factors in this incident.
“Although a charge under the motor vehicle act is being considered,” said Foreman.
Weikum said this particular intersection has been a growing concern parents and the school have raised with the City of Parksville. They claim it has become more dangerous with ongoing construction.
Weikum said after the accident, fears are greatly heightened and parents want something done.
“There’s been quite a few parents, and especially this year, that have written to the city already to let them know how dangerous it’s been,” said Weikum.
Deb Tardiff, the city’s manager of communications, said they wish the child a full and speedy recovery, but did not comment on any potential plans for the intersection.
Another parent, Heather Blackwell, said she walks the crosswalk every day to the school and has encountered vehicles speeding and not stopping for children.
Blackwell is one of the parents who have emailed the city. She said she received a reply from a city engineer who stated city staff collected traffic data on Despard Avenue West near the Kinglsey Street pedestrian walkway in February/March 2020, just before school break.
“This data showed some non-compliance to the school speed zone, and these results have been shared with Parksville RCMP for their consideration and enforcement,” the engineer stated, and encouraged parents or anyone to report any illegal or unsafe driving to the Parksville RCMP non-emergency number 250-248-6111 with the make, model, and colour of the vehicle, time of day, direction of travel, and if possible, licence plate number.
The city currently follows national guidelines for pedestrian crossing control devices.
“The existing marked crosswalk on Despard Avenue West at Moilliet Street South will be analyzed for conformance to these standards and the city’s engineering specifications, since this crosswalk was installed relatively long ago,” the engineer said. “Staff will take this opportunity to analyze the placement of the school speed zone signs with the goal of increasing compliance with this school speed zone.”
The Moilliet/Despard intersection is located less than 500 metres from Springwood Elementary School, and within 140 metres of Trillium Lodge.