Crossing guard being added to intersection where 12-year-old boy was hit

Police will add a crossing guard at the intersection where a 12-year-old boy was injured in a hit and run crash on his way to school on Thursday.

Lt. Mike Bandish of the Palm Bay Police Department said the crossing guard will be stationed near the cross walk at Glendale Avenue and Emerson Street even though the intersection is outside the designated school zone.

According to Bandish, 31-year-old Christopher Harris hit the boy with his Jeep Grand Cherokee as he made a left turn into the crosswalk. 

Bandish told Fox 35 the boy went up on the hood of the Jeep and the bike was run over.  The boy was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, he said.

According to Bandish, Harris was arrested around 10:30 a.m.  for leaving the scene of an accident with injury and knowingly driving on a suspended license. 

At about the same time Thursday morning, a five-year-old boy and his dad were banged up when a car hit them in a cross walk near Odyssey Charter School. Bandish said, noting that the vehicle was moving slowly, the father and son were not seriously hurt. 

“We don’t want to go out and tell another mother or father that their son was hurt or their daughter was hurt on their way to school,” Bandish said pleading with drivers and pedestrians to be careful near school zones.  

A study on Thursday by Smart Growth America ranks the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville area as the second most dangerous metro area in the country for pedestrians.

Bandish said the Palm Bay city council voted over the summer to spend $130,000 on new signs in school zones and directed the police department to hire more crossing guards.

Until the crossing guards are trained, Bandish said Palm Bay Police Department detectives are doing the job before they start their shifts.