Many call for school zone safety upgrades after middle school student struck

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Many in the community are calling for safety upgrades in school zones Thursday, after a car hit a 12-year-old girl walking to Kirby Middle School Wednesday.

As school dismissed at Kirby Middle Thursday, there were administrators and a school resource officer watching.

A school zone sign remained dark. It was not blinking, just like the day of the accident. The city said it works, but it has to be turned on manually.

WREG asked who is responsible and why it was not turned on, but the city had not responded as of late Thursday afternoon.

The student was hit crossing Raines, which has three lanes of traffic in both directions.

There were not any crossing guards there to stop traffic.

Shelby County Schools said MPD is responsible for staffing crosswalks, but police said they are only tasked with elementary schools.

Jose Hernandez has a sister who attends Kirby. He had not heard of the accident but told WREG there should be crossing guards at every school.

"I've seen a lot of near misses," said Al Woods, waiting to pick up his wife, who works for the school.

He said he noticed when guards stopped manning crosswalks at middle schools a couple years ago.

Woods said he supports the idea of parent volunteers or someone else manning crosswalks.

WREG asked MPD if it would consider adding crossing guards to middle or high schools in high traffic areas, but we have not received a response as of Thursday afternoon.

WREG checked in with Darney Whitehead, the father of the student who was injured.

He said his daughter, Christini, was still in the hospital but doing better.

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