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Stop signs to be added where child struck, killed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The city of Indianapolis is responding after a young boy was hit by a car in front of his school. The child died from his injuries several days after the accident.

DPW engineers say they have evaluated 91st Street in front of Nora Elementary School and have determined a 4-way stop needs to be installed.

Engineers are also recommending crosswalks be added at the new 4-way stop. The stop signs and crosswalks will be in front of the east entrance.

DPW said making traffic changes normally takes weeks in order to get approved. But after learning about the child getting hit and then dying from those injuries, they felt there was no time to wait.

The dangers that fly down this speedy stretch of 91st Street right in front of Nora Elementary are coming to a stop.

“Amazing,” said Principal Amber Walters. “My prayers have been answered and my staff is going to be elated.”

She’s wanted a crosswalk in front of her school for years. Students who live on the other side of 91st Street are offered bus transportation. But later in the day when they return for tutoring, many have to walk.

Last week, a 7-year-old boy was doing just that when police say he darted out in front of traffic and was hit. They said the driver didn’t have a chance to stop or swerve.

“It’s heartbreaking. I wouldn’t wish this pain and grief upon anybody,” she said.

And neither does DPW.

“Our goal with providing a solution to enhance the safety for pedestrians is really about preventing an accident like this from occurring in the future,” said Scott Manning, DPW spokesman.

That’s why DPW decided to honor Walter’s request for a crosswalk. On top of that, they’re adding stop signs in all directions.

“So not only do you have the visibility of the crosswalk, traffic is physically required to come to a stop, to look both ways before proceeding,” Manning said.

“I cried, tears came to my eyes and I literally cried,” Walters said of learning about DPW’s plan. “I’ve cried for six days straight in regards to losing my student. But these were tears of joy that I can hold on to the rest of them.”

Safety changes like adding stop signs or traffic lights typically require City-County Council approval, a process that could take months.

But DPW’s director issued an emergency order allowing the safety improvements to be installed as soon as possible and hopefully put a stop to a problem outside this school.

DPW would then work with the City-County Council to make the addition of the 4-way stop and crosswalks a permanent change.

“This is something I want all my kids to know about, all my students, because once you believe in something and you follow through with it and you push for it, it does happen,” said Walters. “You just have to believe in it with all your heart.”

The crosswalk and stop signs will be added Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Despite the changes, Principal Walters said volunteer crossing guards will continue to monitor that area when students come by for tutoring class. She also said the school is working on a way to honor and remember the student who died.