Advocating for a safer Alden Road

Jason Rantala reports. 10/18/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—As the memorial grows where 15-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzy" Ross was hit and killed by a car on her way to school, people who live and work near Alden Road say they want increased safety measures.

Early Tuesday morning before school, Jennifer Trotter, a teacher at Alden Road Exceptional School, stopped on her way to work to see if students need help crossing the street along Alden Road.

Trotter, who works just down the road from where Lizzy was hit, says she heard all the commotion a day before. Trotter says she sees a lot of kids trying to cross the road, she says lighting is bad when it's dark along the heavily traveled street.

Monday's tragedy really hit home for her and her entire family, says Trotter.

"I was just driving past and I just decided to stop and make sure there was any students that I could maybe 30 minutes before work see if anyone needed any help, give them lights, just to make sure they got across the street safe," says Trotter.

Trotter says she'll be standing in the same spot, every morning, until students can walk safely to school.

When school lets out at Sandalwood High School, the streets are busy with not only cars, but also students trying to walk home.

A spokesperson with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says what happened to Lizzie Monday morning could have been avoided if students would just cross the road at intersections.

Students like Sammy, who attend Sandalwood, say they really don't have a safe way to cross the street because there are no intersections with either traffic lights or crosswalks.

"That's not really an intersection," says Sammy, in reference to the area of Alden Road where students often cross.

Sammy also says the lighting along the street is poor. She says she would like to see crossing guards help students get to school.

"Just like they do to middle schoolers and elementary schoolers, we need someone out here pointing for someone, like a direction where to go," she said.

Police says crossing guards are only for elementary students while reiterating that students need to find a safe place to cross the street.


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