WINDERMERE, Fla. - A Windermere High School student was struck by a car while walking home from school. The incident happened right in the school parking lot, officials said, and the incident was captured on video.
Paul Walker was in the pickup line to pick up his two children when his dash cam video caught the crash. In the video, you can see a Jeep Cherokee speed up and then strike a 14-year-old crossing the street. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said the 17-year-old driver of the car didn’t see the student crossing.
"I got out of my car to try to help," said Walker. "He got up and was like most people he was in shock. Thankfully, the people that were there advised him to lie straight down and wait for an ambulance."
Walker and his children live close enough to school where they could walk home, but instead, he drops them off every day. He says there are not enough safe places for students to cross.
"They only started a week ago today and there have already been three fender benders in the [parking lot] and now this very unfortunate incident," said Walker.
The school parking lot has 10 lanes of traffic in the student parking lot followed by another five lanes where cars come in and out of campus. Students who cut across the parking lot would have to cross all 15 lanes to reach the sidewalk.
"It’s very busy," said Senior Ally Charlton. "A lot of cars coming in and out of the parking lot over here and it’s like no one really looks because you don’t expect a kid to be walking over there."
Charlton used to walk home before getting a car. She tries to stay alert every time she’s in the parking lot.
"There was a car accident out here just yesterday so they’re not really trying to keep us safe necessarily. It’s just really busy and no one’s really directing anything so you’re just out here by yourself," said Charlton.
Walker suggested the school add an elevated crosswalk with flashing yellow lights to slow down drivers. Charlton suggests opening up exits on the other side of the school where there is less traffic. Windermere High School sent out a message to all parents about the crash. They are asking parents to remind their children about pedestrian safety.
"Please remind them to always use sidewalks when one is available, cross the road at marked crosswalks and walk in groups when possible," said Principal Andrew Leftakis.
FOX 35 News reached out to Orange County Public Schools about this. They say they will be reinforcing pedestrian safety as well as reevaluating traffic on campus. FHP said the 14-year-old was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and the teen driver was not issued a ticket.