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MAGNA -- A 12-year-old Magna girl is in critical condition after being hit by a car in a crosswalk Monday morning. She is the second Matheson Junior High School student to be hit in that crosswalk this year.
The westbound car hit her around 7:30 a.m. at 3500 South and 7700 West.
Lt. Don Hutson of the Unified Police Department said, "It was a 17-year-old Cyprus High student who was driving that car. He struck her in the crosswalk; we don't believe speed was a factor because it appears he was obeying the speed limit."
Hutson says the girl had "significant injuries" but was conscious when she left the scene. "We are hoping these are injuries that are able to be treated," he said.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. Hutson says it could be a combination of both the driver and the girl being distracted.
"Unfortunately we have a lot of kids who cross the street but don't do the standard stop, look and listen and wait to make sure if traffic is clear," he said.
"We know (the driver) was on the phone. I don't know if he was on the phone at the exact time he struck this young lady but he was on the phone right before, speaking with his grandmother," Hutson explained.
Area residents say regardless of who is at fault, the fact that another child has been hit in this crosswalk is unacceptable. Trevor Zollinger was hit by a van at the intersection in August. Now residents are demanding that something be done to protect the students crossing 3500 South.
"We're all very concerned about this, and we would like something done about it," Magna resident Vaughn Rice said. "They won't give us a crossing guard out here. These kids come up and try to get across the street. Sometimes they try to make a break for it and run in order to get across, because people will not slow down."
Rice lives near Matheson Junior High. He says the fact that another student has been hit while in a crosswalk-- is unacceptable.
However, 3500 South is the boundary between Matheson and Brockbank Junior High, and students shouldn't be crossing it unless they have a special permit to go to Matheson.
"We don't want kids crossing that street, we set up the boundaries so that they don't have to cross that street," Ben Horsley, with Granite School District, said.
Right now 30 to 35 students live south of 3500 South and have those permits, which their parents signed stating they would provide transportation to and from the school.
Also, 3500 South is a state road, raising the issue of who would be responsible for funding a crossing guard.
"It's a cost," said Hutson. "It costs money to have guards out here to man this intersection. We do have school zone lights here. We do have well-marked crosswalks, so it's something we're going to have to evaluate and make a decision."
The Utah Department of Transportation installed flashing lights to help warn drivers that students cross the intersection. However, the lights had not yet been turned on when the student was hit. Hutson says someone from the school was on their way to turn them on when the accident happened.
Investigation results will be forwarded to the district attorney's office to see if any charges or citations will be issued.