Jacksonville taking temporary steps after student struck at dangerous crosswalk

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Traffic cones were placed in front of Jacksonville High School Wednesday to alert drivers, after the second student in 2 months was struck at the crosswalk on Gum Brand Road Tuesday evening.

“It’s not safe at times because every so often, there would be that one driver that would pass us, and actually not even bat an eye at us when we cross the crosswalk” said Joey Hadder, a junior at Jacksonville High School.

Police have increased patrolling the area over the past several months, and 76 of 199 school zone traffic violations in Jacksonville since January 1st were given at the Gum Branch Road crosswalk.

“People don’t pay attention. They’re using their cell phone, so they may be talking on their cell phones. They don’t realize that this is an intersection because the shopping center is on the other side, and that there’s kids crossing” said Jacksonville police chief Michael Yaniero.

Some safety measures are already in place, such as a button which signals yellow lights on pedestrian crossing signs on both sides of the crosswalk. However, officials say the Department of Transportation needs to make changes to make the crosswalk safe.

“I’ve got two children who attend Jacksonville high school, so obviously the safety of children is very very important to me. It’s got to come down to the public. they’ve got to slow down out here at Jacksonville high school” said District Attorney Ernie Lee.

Jacksonville officials plan to meet with the Department of Transportation on Friday to discuss changes. Gum Branch road is already under construction as part of a separate DOT project.

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Jacksonville says it will make temporary steps to help alert drivers to a dangerous crosswalk next to Jacksonville High School.

A 16-year-old student was hit late Tuesday afternoon by a hit & run driver, according to police.

23-year-old Valencia Venerable is charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to yield at a pedestrian crossing.

This is the second hit and run involving a teenager at that crosswalk in less than two months.

The city says they will place temporary traffic cones at the Henderson Drive crossing to make drivers more aware of the crossing. They also plan to put up message boards and signs indicating the speed of passing vehicles.

State law says motorists must stop when there is a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The street is a state highway, so the city says they will work with the state Department of Transportation for ways to make the crossing safer.

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A woman is facing charges following a hit and run that injured a teenager.

Jacksonville police have charged 23-year-old Valencia Venerable with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to yield at a pedestrian crossing.

Jacksonville police responded to a traffic crash at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday evening. Police say a 16-year-old was walking in a marked crosswalk on Henderson Drive near Jacksonville High School when he or she was struck by a car.

Officers located the vehicle and apprehended the driver.

The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries according to police.

This is the second hit and run involving a teenager at that crosswalk in less than two months.

Venerable's unsecured bond was set at $5,000 and the investigation into the incident continues.

A mugshot for Venerable is not available at this time.