7 people struck on stretch of Jackson Ave. in a year, most recent victim speaks out

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The six-year-old boy hit by a truck on Jackson Avenue over the weekend is out of the hospital and talking with WREG Monday.

In the past year, MPD confirmed seven people have been struck near the 4100 block of Jackson Avenue. Two of those cases were fatal. WREG reported on the fatal cases in November and June last year.

Lashawnda Williams said her son is the boy that a truck struck Saturday.

"That's how he ended up getting hit, playing in the streets," she explained.

Her son, Antonio Darden, has scrapes, bruises and a concussion, but he is okay.

Unlike other cases, he was not acting as a pedestrian, walking from one side of the street to the other.

"I ran in the street, and I tried to go back in the yard, and the truck hit me," Antonio said.

He is the most recent person to get hit on Jackson, just south of the interstate.

Williams works down the street. On Saturday, she said Antonio was staying with one of her friends at a house while she worked. There were six kids there.

"They wanted to go outside and bring the bikes in the house and ended up playing instead of getting the bikes," she said.

The man who struck Antonio stayed at the scene.

"I wanted the guy that hit him to know that I don't blame him. I'm glad he stayed around and helped my baby until the ambulance got there," Williams said.

The police report said no ticket for the crash was given.

Folks in the area told WREG there are a lot of pedestrians that try to cross Jackson, and it is not safe.

"Almost ran over me a couple of times here," said pedestrian Christopher Carpenter.

"I agree, getting off that interstate. Yep, they're still driving fast, yeah, maybe a stoplight or something," said driver Lloyed Brown.

The city told WREG that since Jackson is Highway 14, a state route, TDOT manages that stretch of road.

City spokesperson Kyle Veazey said the manager of the city's Bicycle/Pedestrian Program offered input to TDOT last year about pedestrian safety.

TDOT spokesperson Nichole Lawrence said TDOT resurfaced Jackson and updated it to meet ADA requirements, but maintaining the speed limit is up to the city and police.

WREG reports the nearest crosswalk is a ways down the street from where the past few accidents happened.

Crosswalks or not, Antonio said he learned his lesson.

"Don't play in the street," he said.

The city added it is working on a project to improve pedestrian safety at Jackson and Wales, near this area.

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