‘She never slowed down,’ mom says after daughter was nearly hit in crosswalk

RICHMOND, Va. -- Scary and unnerving. That’s how Stephanie Starling describes a speeding car nearly running over her daughter in a crosswalk near Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond.

Starling said when she dropped her daughter off last week at the intersection of Malvern Avenue and Grace Street, her 11th grader started to cross the road. Within seconds, the woman noticed a car zipping along Malvern. She believes that woman was unaware of how close she was to her daughter in the crosswalk.

Crosswalk at Malvern Avenue and Grace Street

Crosswalk at Malvern Avenue and Grace Street

Mom said she pulled her car into the intersection and started honking the horn, trying to get the driver to slow down. It didn’t work. Starling said her daughter sprinted to the sidewalk and luckily was uninjured in the incident.

“The young lady kept going. She was looking down at her phone, texting and almost had accidents at two other intersections down the street,” Starling said.

The mom sent a letter to the entire Richmond City Council and the Department of Public Works to share her concerns. Starling believes the area around Thomas Jefferson High could use added safety features.

Stephanie Starling

Stephanie Starling

She says the badly faded lines on several crosswalks near the school need to be re-done. Starling also believes drivers on a busy Malvern Avenue have to contend with trees partially covering school zone signs, making it tough for drivers to know just how close they are to crosswalks that students and pedestrians use every day.

“When I look at the crosswalks, I see faded paint," Starling explained. "It makes me think they haven’t been maintained or cared for in years. The drivers, who usually speed through here can’t see the signs. If they are in the far left lane, it’s hard to know that you’re even in a school zone because you can’t see the flashing sign that’s blocked by a tree.”

The Richmond mom hopes her call for action will prompt the city to step up. After our interview, a city traffic crew showed up to assess the school zone.

Starling said that is hopeful sign that work is on the way.

CBS 6 Problem Solvers contacted Richmond’s Director of Public Works, Bobby Vincent. He said crews are already on the case. Vincent explained that they have already responded to the mom’s request and notified the principal at high school that work is scheduled to begin soon.

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