NEW PALESTINE, Ind. (WISH) — New safety measures are coming to a dangerous crosswalk near New Palestine High School.
The changes come just two weeks after a boy riding his bicycle was hit by a truck trying to make his way to school at the crosswalk off U.S. 52.
“You literally just stand there until there’s an opening where you can run,” said Emily Jewell, a freshman at New Palestine High School.
Jewell says getting to school is the hardest part of her day. Jewell lives right across the street from the high school and uses the crosswalk just off U.S. 52 to get there: a daunting task that she’s seen with her own eyes just how dangerous it can be.
“I was here, and he was on his bike over here and I saw the truck. I don’t think he did though, and he started to go,” Jewell said.
Jewell witnessed the accident two weeks ago that injured a 14-year-old boy.
The teen was riding his bicycle and trying to make it across the crosswalk when he was hit by a truck.
Jewell says the crosswalk is downright deadly as there is no crossing guard, drivers rarely stop for pedestrians and speeding is an issue.
“In the mornings, it’s definitely nerve-racking to the point where you almost have to build up the courage but, after you’ve done it for a while, it’s like, ‘OK, I think I got this,’” said Jewell.
New Palestine resident Lynn Nelson said, “It’s very scary. I think there does need to be some kind of crosswalk or somebody there to guide the kids to and from.”
Indiana Department of Transportation announced last week it would be installing flashing lights at the crosswalk. Representatives with INDOT say the flashing lights are meant to get drivers’ attention to avoid any more crashes in this area. The color of the lights will determine if drivers actually need to stop.
“I think it’ll be great! Much needed. I’m glad to hear that,” Nelson said.
While some are happy to see the change, Jewell says, it should have been done a long time ago.
“No one has done anything about it until something has already happened,” Jewell said.
INDOT has no timeline on when the flashing lights will be installed, but town officials have ordered them and should be installing them soon.
(Photo by WISH-TV.)