Archive for May 29th, 2009

May 29, 2009

Another Child Hit On 88th Street

by lewwaters

Hit 03

12 year-old Kyler Walters is in Legacy Emanuel Hospital in serious condition after being struck by a car crossing 88th Street Thursday shortly after 5 PM. He was crossing Northeast 88th Street in the 1800 block and wasn’t wearing a helmet on his skateboard.

Injuries are unknown at this time and I wish him a speedy recovery.

There is no indication that the driver of the 1994 Nissan Maxima that struck him was speeding or the driver impaired. The driver of the Maxima, 49 year-old Collin Normansen stopped and fully cooperated with the investigation. An investigation is underway by traffic specialists. No citations were issued.

My prayers for both Mr. Normansen and young Kyler.

However, it should also be noted this isn’t the first such accident along this stretch of Northeast 88th Street, especially since so many discovered the ease of getting from Hwy 99 to Andressen Road while 78th Street was being widened a few years ago.

A six-year old was struck and killed by a pickup truck just a few years before at nearly the exact spot Kyler was hit. Before that, the Columbian’s paper boy was hit on his bicycle and ended up laying in my front yard one evening.

I have also been rear-ended at this spot while stopping, with turn signal on waiting for westbound traffic to clear so that I could turn into my driveway off of 88th street. That driver said his brakes didn’t work, but he drove off in the truck with no problem afterwards.

To say 88th street can be a hazardous strip to drive on is an understatement as it has hills and dips and restricted view of homes lining both sides of the street nearly the entire distance between Hwy 99 and Andressen.

The discovery a few years ago of it being such an easy straight drive to Andressen makes it a “de facto arterial” to some. To others, it seems to be a “de facto drag strip” because it is straight.

Those drivers seem oblivious to all the homes recently built and that young families have children who walk up and down both sides of the street. Some sidewalks have been added, but the spot Kyler was struck at has none on the south side.

Many long time residents of the neighborhood try to warn new residents of the dangers of 88th Street and to teach their children to stay of the edge of the street as speeding cars are known to drift towards the side of the road.

What does disturb me the most is some comments left on the Columbian’s article about this accident, that seem to place more blame on homeowners and children than drivers who use 88th as a shortcut and a convenience.

Again, let me reiterate that I am not accusing the driver of the Maxima of bad driving or speeding, but am addressing all those others who feel 50 mph and above is better for their convenience than the posted 35 mph. A traffic investigation will determine where any fault, if any, lies.

Those of us who live here realize that 88th has become a “de facto arterial” and can accept that, even with the 18-wheelers, ambulances, police and fire engines all hours with sirens blaring and increased traffic. We may not always like it, but have to accept that people have discovered our street.

What we do not accept are motorcycles, low riders and just general public deciding they may exceed the posted speed limit in hopes of getting a better parking spot at Walmart or Costco.

I do see Sheriff’s Deputies stopping cars and writing tickets, but they can only be on hand part of the time and cannot devote their entire shift to one neighborhood.

That again places more responsibility on drivers who utilize 88th Street for their convenience. While we train our children to be careful, what child has the wherewithal of supposed adults, who should know and obey the “rules of the road?”

When my grandchildren come over they are not permitted to play on the 88th street side of my home. But, youngsters and teens often walk to and from Walmart and must wait for School buses in the early morning.

De fact arterial or not, it is still a residential neighborhood.

So please, all we ask is to be careful. Watch out for children who haven’t learned to watch out all the time. Please, obey speed limits.

We don’t wish any harm to your families and hope traffic laws are obeyed in your neighborhood. But please, obey the traffic laws in our neighborhood.