A young pedestrian was struck by a garbage truck just before 8 a.m. today (Wednesday) in the intersection of Bevan Avenue and Ware Street in Abbotsford.
The 12-year-old boy was airlifted to a Vancouver area hospital with serious injuries.
As of Thursday morning, the boy was doing better and is now in the process of healing and recovery, according to Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald.
He said a police officer was stopped at the intersection when the accident occurred, and witnessed the “rather severe impact.”
He said a group of students was crossing Bevan northbound to get to Abbotsford Middle School, with the right of way. The victim was trailing behind the group. The truck was southbound on Ware, facing the crossing pedestrians, and was making a left-hand turn onto Bevan when it struck the boy.
“The good news is with emergency personnel on the scene right away, we were able to effect some medical treatment and call for the ambulance to arrive to scene,” said MacDonald.
The boy was conscious as emergency responders treated him.
MacDonald noted it was dark when the accident occurred and rain further diminished visibility.
He said the intersection typically has two crossing guards working. One was on duty on the crosswalk to the west, but the other crossing guard, who would have been working where the victim crossed, had not started yet.
A resident of the area says the intersection is generally poorly lit. Jessica Harder said she has seen other accidents at the intersection, and almost hit a pedestrian herself while making a left-hand turn there.
“All of the sudden there was someone in the middle of the crosswalk,” she said. Harder braked, and fortunately there was no other traffic coming so she was able to swerve to avoid hitting the person.
“It was very scary. My heart jumped into my throat.”
She has two children who attend nearby Godson Elementary and a niece who goes to Abby Middle, and says more enforcement is needed in the area.
“Drivers are simply not patient enough to wait for the intersection to be clear,” she said.
MacDonald responded that Bevan-Ware is not one of the intersections that has a history of high accident frequency.
ICBC stats show that in a five-year period from 2005 to 2009 there were an average of 21 accidents per year at that intersection. By comparison, nearby Marshall and McCallum had three times that number.