Parents Taking Action after accident

Published 09/11 2013 11:00PM

Updated 09/12 2013 09:41AM

CHAMPAIGN -- After a student is hit by a car, parents are Taking Action by planning to ask the city for a crossing guard. Grace Pelz was walking to Southside Elementary with her mother.

As they crossed the street at Prospect and Daniel, a car clipped her. Parents say this accident was only a matter of time.

Lori Franz has always wanted to walk her kids to and from school, and if juggling four of them isn't hard enough, everyday she deals with this traffic.

"We fight the morning traffic. We sometimes get lucky we cross right away, and sometimes we have to stand there for ten minutes," says Franz.

She's one of many walkers at Southside Elementary. However, this week, fear drove most parents to find a different way to get to school.

"I hated that it came to this. I hope that something will be done now," says Franz.

Monday, a student was hit by a car. Her leg was broken in two places with mom watching just a few feet ahead. It happened minutes before Cindy Wacther got to the corner.

"I was kind of traumatized the rest of the day and evening, and kind of replaying that scene in my mind," says Wachter.

That scene lit a fire in Wachter which had almost gone out. She and a group of parents are once again asking the city for a crossing guard. It's a request she's made for more than ten years.

"We even asked the police department as parents if we could rotate as crossing guards and they said absolutely do not do that. It just felt like brick wall, brick wall, brick wall. Every time, I try really hard, then I let it drop," says Wachter.

Now there's a group ready to make a proposal to the Champaign City Council. Wachter says this time they're not backing down.

"I knew that it would take an accident or a death for somebody to do something. And even now I am skeptical that its even going to amount to anything," says Wachter.

In an email sent to this group of parents by Champaign City Council Member Marci Dodds, she indicated she will ask the city to re-evaluate where it puts crossing guards. She also noted she would forward their letter onto the mayor and police chief.

The group will appear before the Champaign City Council September 17 and the Unit 4 School Board in October.

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