Ald. Bobby Pantuso called Wednesday for a review of school zone safety after an accident Monday morning that left a Longfellow Middle School student with a broken leg.
A school crossing guard was in position just after 7:30 a.m. on Wauwatosa Avenue at West Wright Street with a handheld stop sign and had stopped one southbound car while the 12-year-old boy was crossing. Another southbound driver failed to see the crossing guard and passed the stopped car on the right, striking the boy, according to Wauwatosa police.
The driver, a 55-year-old woman, told police she thought the car was stopped to make a left turn. She said she drove that route nearly every day and was aware that it is a school zone.
Another driver going south behind her said she did see the crossing guard enter the street to halt traffic with his stop sign in clear view, assisting the boy. She described seeing the accident, saying the boy did a "complete flip in the air before hitting the ground."
The boy was taken to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where he was treated for a compound fracture. He told police that he waited until the crossing guard had stopped traffic and motioned for him to cross. When he saw the car headed for him, he said, all he could do was close his eyes and look away.
The driver was issued a municipal citation for passing a vehicle stopped for a pedestrian.
Pantuso, who represents the 5th District, wrote to the mayor, police chief, school superintendent and members of the city's Traffic and Safety Committee asking that a discussion be started about how such accidents can be better prevented. He also cited a June accident in front of Eisenhower Elementary School in which a 4-year-old was struck by a car, suffering slight injuries.
"It is time for the city and the Wauwatosa School District to come together and form a plan to implement prevention measures. We cannot afford for this to happen again," he wrote.
City Administrator Jim Archambo responded quickly that he would forward Pantuso's concerns to the city clerk for inclusion on the agenda of the next Traffic and Safety meeting on Nov. 29.
Archambo also said that the city was working with the school district on safety issues on West Center Street fronting Eisenhower, West High School and Whitman Middle School. The city has sent out a request for proposals for a safety evaluation of the corridor, he said.