Injured students improve, as city studies pedestrian safety

Injured students improve, as city studies pedestrian safety
(WALB image)
(WALB image)
Greg Nurideen (WALB image)
Greg Nurideen (WALB image)
Comm. Jon Howard (WALB image)
Comm. Jon Howard (WALB image)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Two Albany children continue to recover, after being struck by a car Friday, walking to school. School officials said that the prognosis for their recovery is improved, and guardedly optimistic.

Antonio Shed, Jr., 9, died in the crash. One child suffered minor injuries, but two of the children were still in the hospital Monday night.

School officials said that the two elementary school students both came through a first round of surgery over the weekend. Te'unna Shed, 6, is still receiving treatment at Navicent Health in Macon.

Jahkara Arnold, 10, is at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. School officials on Friday described their injuries as broken bones and head trauma.

City and school leaders have been responding to community calls for further safeguards to protect children walking to and from school.

Neighbors said that sidewalks around Turner Elementary School should be a top priority, to prevent any more deaths. Greg Nurideen lives close by where the four children were struck by the car on Friday, and ran to help the kids

The Vietnam veteran said that it looked like a war zone.

"To see these young babies, these bodies laying on the street there like that, immediately my thought went back to after a firefight in Vietnam," explained Nurideen.

Nurideen is one of the many people calling on city leaders to improve East Albany's sidewalks and school crossings.

Right now teachers walk students in the afternoon to keep them out of the street.

Commissioner Jon Howard has been working on sidewalks for East Broad Avenue since last summer.

"If this school is going to remain open, sidewalks is certainly imperative," said Howard. "Because the principal has complained. Teachers have complained. And some of the parents have complained we need sidewalks on Broad Avenue."

Howard has proposed SPLOST funding for sidewalks be prioritized for the approximately five miles from Broadway to Mock Road, on both East Broad and Clark Avenue.

Right now he wants the crosswalk where the crash happened improved.

"We certainly need flashers, because Mock Road is a busy street," explained Howard. "And that we can prevent these type of tragedies happening in the coming years."

Nurideen said that the community needs to work with city leaders to have the East Albany sidewalks and improvements done as soon as possible.

"It's like a war zone, because the heavy tonnage," said Nurideen. "The volume of traffic come down that road. I think it actually puts children at risk, just as much as any soldier in the battlefield."

School officials said they are also re-studying school opening times and making sure crossing guards are at the cross walks early to prevent further tragedies.

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