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Student struck by vehicle walking to school

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Jan. 6, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
Updated Jan. 5, 2011 at 7:06 p.m.


Desirae Rhoades, a 15-year-old Victoria East High School freshmen, was walking to school when she was struck by a sport utility vehicle about 8:15 a.m. Thursday.

Rhoades was crossing Mockingbird Lane headed onto the campus when she was struck on her left arm by a Dodge Durango, Sarah Rush, her guardian, said.

Desirae was taken to Citizens Medical Center for treatment, but Rush said she expected her to return to school later Thursday afternoon.

Lt. Mike Tatum with the Victoria Police department said the driver was not ticketed.

Rush believes the city has not done enough to make the intersection safer since school began.

"Nobody really wants to deal with it until it's their child," she said. "We're lucky that she wasn't hurt bad, but something needs to be done."

The city is installing about $82,000 worth of sidewalks but has no plans to install a crosswalk, traffic light or school zone.

"I think the sidewalks are the action council has approved to try to make it safer," said O.C. Garza city public information officer. "There are other options and, like the sidewalk, they all cost money. Several other things were discussed at council meetings, but that's what council has approved to date."

Lynn Short, director of public works, estimated costs for any other traffic safety measures to be as much as $300,000. Installing a striped crosswalk would cost $1,000; putting in a school zone to slow traffic would be between $20,000 - $25,000; and installing a traffic light could cost about $300,000 just for the light fixture.

Garza said students who feel uncomfortable walking across Mockingbird Lane, can walk down to John Stockbauer Drive and cross at a lighted intersection.

"Those sidewalks will allow them to go down and cross at the control section at Stockbauer," he said.

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