Concern for the safety of students walking to school in New Palestine is apparent yet again for parents and students alike in the southern Hancock County town.
Monday morning, a student riding his bike to New Palestine High School was hit by a pick-up truck while crossing U.S. 52 crosswalk directly in front of the school. It's a crosswalk that has no stop signs, yield signs, or flashing lights.
Matthew Crawford is a 17-year-old student at New Pal who also works at the pizza joint just across the street from the high school.
A spokesperson for the Southern Hancock County Community School Corporation cited previous conversations about increasing student safety on U.S. 52.
“The school district has had and is continuing to have, conversations with the Indiana Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies to find the best solution on U.S. 52 that works to keep our students, parents, and community safe,” Wes Anderson, the director of school and community relations, said Monday in an emailed statement. “We hope these conversations can lead to action by INDOT which will reduce speed and increase driver awareness on U.S. 52 near New Palestine High School’s main entrance. Our goal is to work with INDOT and our local law enforcement agencies to solve this problem in the best interest of student safety.”
INDOT did not disclose any immediate plans to add lights or signals to the crosswalk but said an “improvement plan” is scheduled for construction in 2020 at an intersection “just down the street from the high school.”