Child injured in front of Powell Elementary

A second grade child received minor injuries when he was struck by a car in front of Powell Elementary this morning. The boy was running across Upshur Street from the soccer field across the street and ran out between the cars. Fortunately, he's ok and is back home after a quick trip to the hospital.

It did create quite the scene with EMS, Fire and MPD. It also has created concern among parents on how to ensure drivers are aware of the children, and ensure children don't dart out into traffic. 

On a Powell Parents Facebook page, parents are commenting on the convoluted process for drop-off / pickup at the school. Many parents double-park, and many drivers on their way to the Rock Creek Parkway or 16th Street drive too fast or have to weave around double-parked cars, open doors and children and parents walking in the street.

There's been discussions on having parents volunteer to help direct the drop-off process, hiring crossing guards or painting lines on the road to help slow and direct traffic better.

ANC 4C Commissioner Zach Teutsch is involved in the discussions and has reached out to Powell Elementary Principal Janeece Docal to see about implementing a "Safe Routes to School" program from DC DDOT, as well as planning a meeting with DDOT, Councilmember Brandon Todd and the school to help identify ways to make it safer out front of the school in the mornings and afternoons. Commissioner Teutsch also contacted the Mayor's office to let them know what happened, and they are interested in participating in next steps on this issue. More to come, I'm sure.

The school sent out an email this evening about the incident:

This morning, one of our second grade students was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street.  Unfortunately, the student darted between parked cars as he was leaving Upshur Park.  The school immediately called for an ambulance which arrived on the scene within minutes.  As is our practice, a staff member accompanied the student to the hospital.  We also provided support for students who may have experienced some level of emotional stress having witnessed the accident. Fortunately, the child was seen at the hospital and did not suffer any injuries.

In the District, there is an increase in the number of students being hit during the summer months.  It is important that we all reiterate to our students the dangers of running into the street between parked cars and chasing balls into the road.  Students should always look left, right and left again before crossing the street.  Additionally, they should always cross in the crosswalk. 

Additionally, we remind parents again:

  • Please not drop off your child before 8:10 am
  • Please do not leave them unattended
  • Please only drop them off on the school side of Upshur, or please walk with them to the school using the cross walks.

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.

submit to reddit