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Child pedestrian accident in Lehigh County sparks controversy

Accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles often result in serious injuries and even death. The fragile human body does not stand much of a chance against a moving vehicle. Tragically, a June 3 pedestrian-car accident involving a six-year-old boy has rocked the community of Macungie, Pennsylvania, and is raising safety concerns among parents and residents.

According to reports, the little boy was crossing Willow Lane at the intersection with Sauerkraut Lane near Willow Lane Elementary School in Lower Macungie Township when he was struck by a car. Emergency responders were immediately dispatched to the scene.

The child maintained consciousness throughout the rescue efforts and was transported to the hospital. Luckily, he is expected to make a full recovery. However, the incident has galvanized parents in the area to make their small town safer for pedestrians.

The accident is currently still under investigation, and it is not clear whether the little boy was merely crossing the street or actually ran in front of a car. Regardless, local parents believe that the township itself may have some responsibility. Citizens in the area have been fighting for safety improvements at that particular intersection for some time. For example, the intersection is not designated as a school zone despite the fact that the elementary school is mere feet away.

Currently, no charges have been filed in regards to the car-pedestrian accident, but the boy's parents could seek damages from the driver or the township. Some citizens may urge the parents to seek damages from the township because they believe it has failed to take proper safety precautions for the four-way stop.

It should not take a nearly fatal accident to prompt change. Pedestrian accidents like these happen more often than most people would like to believe, and municipalities should take a close look at their responses when they receive traffic safety complaints from the public, particularly in school zones.

Source: Lowermacungie.patch.com, "Pedestrian Accident on Lower Macungie Agenda," Peggy Heminitz, Jun 13, 2011

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Gregory R. Gifford
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