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Parents want safety lights after child struck in a crosswalk walking home from school

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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. -- Forrest Hill Irene and Dogwood Road isn't an easy intersection.

There are several lanes with cars coming in all directions, but now imagine crossing it on foot as an elementary school student.

“It's kinda like the game of Frogger, you're really taking a risk,” said Kelly Flaherty, a parent at nearby Dogwood Elementary school.

Last week, crossing guard Bill signaled for the kids to cross several lanes, but one teenage driver didn't stop.

He slammed into Suzanne Kutas' second grade son, bruising his chest and ribs.

“Physically he's okay, mentally he's scared. He doesn't want to ride his bike anymore,” said Kutas.

Kutas and every other parent we found that uses the crosswalk said cars really speed here and don't seem to even realize kids are walking home.

“I just wish the city would put flashing lights. We have them on Dogwood but it's still a school zone here,” said Kutas.

Parents of older students said they've asked for a traffic light for years or even a blinking school zone light.

The busy intersection has none of that.

Crossing guard Bill even felt the light would have kept the boy from getting hit.

“Sometimes folks don't look. They don't notice,” said Bill.

Alderman Forrest Owens' kids walk home here too.

He said he has felt safe on the walk, but said federal grant money just came in for “safer routes to school”.

As difficult as Dogwood and Forrest Hill Irene may be, the intersection isn't the first on the list for help.

Riverdale has been dealing with problem crossings along with Farmington.

“We're looking at all the schools, and how we can get the kids to school in the safest manner possible,” said Owens.

Many schools in Germantown are on or near busy roads.

Parents said something has to change and fast.

“I'm so passionate about it now because it happened to us,” said Kutas.

Germantown's mayor said so far there's no timeline on when exactly a light of some sort could get installed, but said the city is listening and already working to help address the issue.


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