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‘Polite’ teen struck in Richmond school crosswalk has severe brain damage

RICHMOND, Va. -- A freshman at Maggie Walker Governor’s School is recovering from a tragic accident that left him with severe brain damage.

Davison Chapman was leaving a fall festival at his former school, Good Shepherd Episcopal School, a few weeks ago when the crash happened.

The 14-year-old was walking with his mom, Blake, who teaches at Good Shepherd, when the pair were struck by a truck in the crosswalk at 43rd Street and Forest Hill Avenue.

"He's smart and polite and friendly and outgoing," Nancy Negus said about Davison. "He’s just a joy to be around."

Negus, who is related to the 14-year-old and his mother, has been moved by the community’s response.

“There's such an outpouring of love and support from the community and people who are looking for ways to rally around them,” Negus said.

Seward, who runs Good Shepherd Episcopal School, said the accident has shaken their tight-knit school family.

Davison Chapman

Davison Chapman

“A lot of kids saw that happen,” Ken Seward said. “Parents saw it happen and neighbors saw it happen, so in any community, but in a very small community, that has a huge impact.”

As a result, Seward said counselors have been brought in to help.

The crash is highlighting safety concerns about the intersection.

Crosswalk

Crosswalk

Will Recinos, who works at the school and lives nearby, said drivers constantly blow through the crosswalk.

“Unfortunately, that's not the first pedestrian to be struck,” Recinos said.

Additionally, he said that more than once he has reported the flashing lights at the crosswalk were not working.

On one side, a tree is blocking the solar panel that charges the battery, which activates the lights.

Will Recinos

Will Recinos

Recinos thinks several things could make the crosswalk safer.

“I think it'll be stop lights that work all the time,” Recinos said. “Some sort of law enforcement to ticket speeding drivers -- possibly something like a pedestrian stop light that stops traffic when a pedestrian is present.”

Kristen Larsen, who represents this district, acknowledges that this has been a problem area for some time.

Larsen plans to meet with Richmond Police on Friday to evaluate the area and to figure out what safety recommendations should be made.

The school community is rallying around the teen and his mother. A GoFundMe has been established to help with exorbitant medical costs.

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