Archive for Thursday, September 27, 2007

Youth hits car on way to school

September 27, 2007

While taking his usual route to school Monday morning, Lansing Middle School student Andrew Gruber hit a car while riding his bike through the intersection of Mary and Ida streets.

Lansing Police Officer Brian Duncan said Tuesday after finishing his investigation on the accident that Gruber ,13, was traveling north on Main Street and struck a car turning south off Ida Street about 7:40 a.m. Duncan said that the car, driven by Kevin Albee, had a green light and the right of way. No citations were being written for the incident.

Gruber was ejected from the bike and rolled over the car to land in the roadway. He was not wearing a helmet, Duncan said.

Gruber was taken to the hospital after the accident as a precaution. Pamela Gruber, Andrew's mother, said Tuesday morning that Andrew has lacerations on his head and nose and has bruises on his legs but X-rays did not show any internal damage.

Pamela Gruber said she was just glad to have her son at home and recuperating.

"When you hear your child has just been hit your heart just drops," she said. "That's what happened (Monday), my heart just stopped when I heard."

Pamela Gruber said she has moved on from the scared stage of worrying if her son will recover and is now "ticked" that schools do not provide a crosswalk attendant for students at that intersection.

She said while there was a tunnel for students crossing Main Street, the students crossing Ida Street had less protection. She said that if there had been a person there on the morning of her son's accident, it would probably have never happened.

Pamela plans to take her request for more safety precautions at that intersection to the City Council and School Board.

"I have to be at work to raise money," she said. "I'm trying to depend on the schools to help these kids out."

Lansing Schools Superintendent Randal Bagby said that the district had no plans as of Tuesday to add a crosswalk attendant to the intersection of Mary and Ida streets. He said there used to be an attendant there but removed them because the district doesn't want students crossing in that area. Bagby said instead the district offers the school's busing system for anyone who has to cross those streets, and he encouraged parents and students to take advantage of that option.

He said in the short future, the district would look into revisiting bike and roadway safety with students but at this time was just focused on making sure Andrew made a full recovery. Bagby said teachers already make safety reminders to their students, but added that it would always be beneficial to bring in others to reiterate important points.

For now, Andrew will spend a few days at home to rest and tend to his injuries. Pamela Gruber said she would like to thank all the people who stopped to help Andrew at the time of the accident. She especially wanted to thank a woman who was working on the repaving of Main Street who called her when the accident happened and who stayed and comforted Andrew until she could get there.

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