UPDATE: A 35-year-Old Morinville woman has been charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and failing to remain at the scene of an accident under the Traffic Safety Act. Morinville RCMP Corporal SH Robb said police are not releasing the name of the accused who voluntarily came to police Thursday afternoon. She is to appear at Morinville Provincial Court to answer to the charges Mar. 11.
Original story below
by Morinville News Staff
Morinville – Police are investigating an alleged hit and run that occurred near Morinville Public Elementary School early Thursday morning. The incident involved an eight-year-old boy being struck by a grey van as the child was in the crosswalk at 101 Avenue and 101A Street. Witnesses told police the driver of the van did not stop even though they believe eye contact was made with the struck child who was not seriously injured. The vehicle involved is described as grey / silver minivan with a Caucasian female driver with dark hair. The first three digits of the Alberta licence plate may be BGL.
Corporal S H Robb with the Morinville RCMP Detachment is concerned with what he is hearing on the matter. “Police kind of find this very disturbing that a motorist would not stop. Even though it may appear to not be any injuries; it is unknown why somebody would not stop to verify and speak to this child [as to whether] he was okay or not, rather than just driving away,” Robb said. “It is disturbing that someone would not stop and check on the wellbeing of this child.”
Failing to stop for a pedestrian and leaving the scene of a collision where someone may be injured is illegal. Failing to stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk alone carries a $575 fine and four demerit points.
Robb said outside of speeding concerns there have not been a lot of problems in school zones. The police are nonetheless vigilant in patrolling school zones as part of their traffic enforcement program in Morinville. “We do always try to have a presence in our school zones to deter speeders, but it is one of our prime focuses in traffic enforcement,” Robb said.
Beyond RCMP efforts to make sure motorists are being mindful of pedestrians, police are urging parents to have conversations with their children about school zone safety. “Make eye contact with drivers in a crosswalk,” Robb suggested. “Yes, they may be in a crosswalk but it is always good practice in a crosswalk to make eye contact with the driver. “It is always a good idea for young people [to follow] the old adage of point, pause and proceed. I’ve always like young children to do that. Point their arm across the road. Pause to make sure it is safe, then proceed across the road when it is safe.” Robb also advises children to wear bright reflective clothing, particularly in the winter months. He also advises parents dropping children off at school to assist them in crossing the road.”
The investigation is ongoing to determine who was driving the van in Thursday’s incident. If anyone has information relating to this incident they are encouraged to call the Morinville RCMP at 780-939-4520 or crime stoppers at 1-800-422-8477.