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Police highlight importance of cleaning windshields after children are hit in crosswalk

Mark Morgan saw a car hit two students outside Emerson Elementary School on 1100 East and Harrison Avenue in Salt Lake City on Friday. Police said this is a reminder to clear ice from windshields during the winter. (Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)


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SALT LAKE CITY – Two children were struck by a car while in the crosswalk near Emerson Elementary school Friday morning in Salt Lake City.

Witnesses said it could have been easily avoided.

"We were about to cross the street, and Lucy was about 5 feet or 15 feet in front of me, and I was in the back with Margaret," father Mark Morgan explained to KSL.

Morgan said his neighbor and her two boys were just ahead of him on 1100 East at Harrison Avenue.

"The crossing guard was already in the middle of the street and everything looked completely normal," he said.

An apparent lack of preparation by one driver led to a frightening moment.

"He did actually make contact with the kids, probably going about 10 miles an hour with the two boys that were in the middle. And they probably were thrown about 6 or 7 feet from the car," Morgan said. "But what I think really happened was his windshield was completely covered in ice, and I think he was driving slowly because he couldn't see."

It's an issue every winter.

Even if the frost isn't completely covering your windshield, maybe you clear a portion of it before getting on your way.

"A person is a very small, little area for your vision. So, about one second it takes to kind of look around something or where you can't see something could be the difference between hitting someone and not hitting someone, " said Det. Michael Ruff with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Ruff said those extra few minutes before you take off can make a world of difference.

Morgan agreed, "Just glad they're OK. It was pretty scary."

He said the boys were able to walk away from the crash, but it serves as an important reminder to make sure you're all clear.

"We're so happy everybody's safe, right?" Morgan asked his daughter Lucy.

"Yep," she answered.

Police said frost isn't the only issue that blocks drivers' views. Sometimes a dirty windshield in the sun or items hanging in the front cant be enough to cause a crash.

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Mike Anderson

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