Red-light runner hits 3 students, 1 adult while swerving to avoid collision


by Catherine Holland and Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Video report by Bruce Haffner, Gina Maravilla and Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 28 at 10:50 AM

Map: 47th Ave. & Northern

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Three students and an adult were hit by an SUV while standing on a corner waiting to cross the street Tuesday morning. Police believe that SUV had run a red light and the driver was swerving to avoid a crash.

It happened at about 8 a.m. at 47th and Northern avenues, across the street from Apollo High School.

Glendale police Sgt. Brent Coombs said none of the injuries was life-threatening but two the students were taken to a local hospital for "precautionary reasons." The third teen was treated at the scene.

Coombs said investigators believe the SUV ran a red light.

Swerving to avoid hitting a pickup truck that was in the intersection to make a left-hand turn, the driver of the SUV ran up onto the sidewalk and hit three kids and one adult who were waiting for the walk signal.

"These kids were doing nothing wrong, just standing up on the sidewalk, waiting for the light to function" Coombs said, explaining that drivers need to be hyper-vigilant around schools. "You need to really slow down."

It's not yet known if the SUV driver was distracted or simply trying to beat the light.

Both aerial and ground video showed dozens of emergency responders on the scene. The SUV could be seen on the corner, nosed up against a block wall.

Coombs reiterated that the kids, believed to be students at Apollo High School, were being transported for precautionary reasons and that none of the injuries was life-threatening.

“They are children so when paramedics respond to scenes they're even more precautionary with children than with anyone else just cause that's what you do,” he said.

The parents of the injured kids were quickly notified.

Mary Boland's son goes to Apollo. She worries a lot when he walks to school, but after hearing and seeing these kids get hurt, she's changing the way her son gets to school.
“From now on, I will make sure that I either walk with him to school or I will drive him,” she said.

Police have not released the name of the SUV driver, but Coombs said she will likely be cited with a traffic violation. She will not face criminal charges in connection with hitting the kids because there was no intent -- she did not swerve purposely to hit them.