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Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:39 a.m.

12-year-old boy taken to hospital after vehicle hits him in crosswalk

By Cindy Heflin

A 12-year-old Ann Arbor boy was taken to the hospital today after he was hit by a vehicle at Wagner and Jackson roads on the west side of Ann Arbor, firefighters and police said.

The boy was walking east in the crosswalk across Wagner Road on the south side of the intersection with Jackson when a northbound pickup truck struck him about 7:30 a.m., Ann Arbor Police Officer Bill Clock said. A witness statement indicated the light was green for the truck, Clock said.

The boy was conscious after the accident, which occurred about 7:30 a.m., said Scio Township Fire Chief Carl Ferch. Huron Valley Ambulance paramedics took him to the University of Michigan Hospital, he said. Further information about his condition was not available.

The boy was believed to be on his way to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority bus stop on the east side of the intersection, Clock said.

The driver of the truck is a 49-year-old man from Washtenaw County, Clock said.

Ann Arbor police and Ann Arbor and Scio Township firefighters responded to the accident.

View Pedestrian accident in a larger map



Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 4 a.m.

first and foremost let's hope the child makes a quick and total recovery. until the facts are sorted out let us not blame anyone.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

Marilyn Wikie is absolutely, undoubtably correct! A pedestrian always has the "right of way." Common sense and Michigan driving laws state this. The questionable area is whether or not a pedestrian can be seen in time to stop especially in a 40mph plus speed limit area. No one can possibly believe that a 49 yr. old Washtenaw county man hit a 12 year old intentionally because he was rightfully passing through a green light. Awareness is the key for drivers and pedestrians alike. Too many distractions and not enough attention paid create these situations. My best for recovery to both the boys injuries and the driver's mental pain.

Marilyn Wilkie

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Even if a vehicle has a green light they must stop for pedestrians in their path. Having said that, conditions can cause a pedestrian not to be seen. That is all I know from this story.

Red Floyd

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

I don't understand how the Ann Arbor pedestrian crosswalk ordinance is NOT relevant to this story?


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

While drivers should always be aware what is going on around them , pedestrians should also be be wary of what is going on around them. It sounds like maybe the light just turned green fo the north bound when the youngster was in the crosswalk. Just an unfortuneate accident. Hopefully the boy has a speedy recovery.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 12:29 p.m.

I hope the young man makes a speedy recovery. Whatever the facts in this particular case, I think our local pedestrian law is confusing for both drivers and pedestrians, and could be particularly confusing for children. Two crosswalks, within blocks of each other, on the same heavily traveled face-paced road require different responses from pedestrians and drivers. If there is a traffic light, the light governs traffic and pedestrian flow, UNLESS THE VEHICLE IS TURNING (in this case ONLY do pedestrians have the right-of-way). If there is NO light, then whether or not a pedestrian "is approaching" the crosswalk governs traffic flow. To have such a difference in interpretation of very similar road conditions--when judgments have to be made quickly and an error in judgment can be deadly--seems extremely ill-advised. As a long-time adult driver, I find this new confusion regarding how to respond to road conditions quite challenging under even the best of circumstances--add less experienced drivers, many out-of-town college students and their parents who are less familiar with our local laws, commuters/shoppers from neighboring communities who do not follow this ordinance, numerous bicyclists and bike lanes that merge with traffic at busy intersections, many children who are pedestrians/runners/bicyclists (especially before/after school), and high traffic volume on multi-lane roads moving at 35 to 40 mph and it does seem like a disaster waiting to happen whether or not it can be determined whether any of those issues was directly involved in this particular case.

Jerome Blue

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

I hope they fine the heck out of the driver.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.



Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

hopefully he'll be OK


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

She said said seven times in seven sentences. Sheesh.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

A witness said that the truck had a green light. Could there have been some confusion caused by the Ann Arbor local pedestrian law that confused this youth and had him thinking he could cross at any time in any crosswalk?

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

I doubt he was thinking of the ordinance when he ignored or didn't notice the red light, or thought he could outrun - or didn't see - the truck, all in trying to catch for a bus. Not all that smart, but ...


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

I imagine that may be the case.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1 a.m.

The responses to this article indicate very clearly that people do not understand this poorly thought out ordinance. At a LIGHTED crosswalk whoever has the green light gets to go. As unfortunate as this accident is, and I hope this child is okay, the driver is not at fault. Pedestrians don't understand the ordinance because they are crossing at LIGHTED crosswalks when they are red. Some drivers believe you have to stop for a pedestrian even if you have the green at a LIGHTED crosswalk. At a lighted crosswalk, drivers and pedestrians must abide by the light indicated!!!!! My heart also goes out to the driver. Not one of you would feel anything but horrible for hurting a young boy.

say it plain

Sun, Nov 6, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

Of course @Jeff Gaynor is right, but leezee I think is hitting on something I've noticed since this ordinance has taken effect. I know it might sound weird, but I feel like I'm seeing more pedestrians doing things at *all* crosswalks that they wouldn't do before. Like walking against lights because there's a crosswalk there... I found myself slowing down to an almost stop recently because there was someone stepped out into a crosswalk that was at a trafficlight, and it wasn't her light! But she was in the crosswalk, so that triggers the whole "better stop" thing more than it used to, right?! How ridiculous isn't it? I mean, of course I would stop for someone who seemed to be walking out into traffic, because I would never want to hit someone... But I think the crosswalk craziness is bad for safety all around, and perhaps some pedestrians *really do* believe they now have the right to walk on through lighted crosswalks?!

Jeff Gaynor

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:49 p.m.

You are right in what you say -- and I know you don't really mean you don't have to stop for a pedestrian crossing in front of your vehicle. Yes, on a green light the driver has the right of way, but not the right to hit someone if he reasonably (speed kills) can avoid it.

Urban Sombrero

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:45 p.m.

I really hope he's alright. I'm not even going to comment on the new law or the crosswalks, any of it. That's irrelevant right now. I just hope this kid will be O.K.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

My best wishes are with the lad who was hit, hoping that he is not seriously hurt. Also, with the driver of the truck who most likely is quite distraught regarding the accident. It is dark out in the a.m. when middle schoolers are walking to the bus stops. I know, because I've seen several usually in dark clothes -- so we all need to be alert and cautious.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:15 p.m.

Cindy "we have no indication that the Ann Arbor school district's new transportation policy is relevant either." I do not know if it is relevant or not, but it is a valid question assuming the boy was walking to the AATA bus stop to catch a bus to school.

Blazingly Busy

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

This is right at the corner of my neighborhood. I know it's not my 12 year old boy but I have two neighbors with 12 year old boys and I don't know if they are ok or not.

G. Orwell

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:10 p.m.

To follow up. Even if this accident was not associated with the pedestrian crosswalk ordinance, this ordinance need to be repealed. How stupid is it to give pedestrians the right of way against a 3,000-6,000 pound car going 25-50 mph? What about drivers from out of town that is not familiar with this stupid ordinance? We live in Ann Arbor. We get thousands of out of town people each day/week.

Cindy Heflin

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 8:55 p.m.

Off-topic comments and comments that violated's commenting guidelines have been removed. Please note: The Ann arbor pedestrian crosswalk ordinance is not relevant to this story, and we have no indication that the Ann Arbor school district's new transportation policy is relevant either.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

I don't understand why being curious/wondering if there had previously been a bus stop out there violates commenting guidelines? Oh, that's right, AAPS is the sacred cow of, no questions allowed ***rolling eyes***

Jeff Gaynor

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:13 p.m.

Thanks, Cindy. I was wondering why so many comments were removed.

David Frye

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Put "Ann Arbor," "pedestrian," and "crosswalk" together in a headline and you are sure to be deluged by comments by readers who jump to the conclusion that this is another story about the new Ann Arbor crosswalk law. The article might have pointed out that this intersection falls outside the Ann Arbor city limits. The Ann Arbor law does not apply here. The article did mention a witness statement that "the truck had a green light." The Ann Arbor crosswalk law does not override traffic lights -- another key fact that might have been pointed out. Comments about the crosswalk law are out of place here.

Ann English

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

It was where the accident took place that drew me to read it, not the crosswalk law. Usually these and near-misses are reported as taking place on the eastern side of town.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

Am I missing something? A witness said the truck had the green light, which means the pedestrian did not.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

The pedestrian is at fault for not yielding to the light and right of way of traffic.

Katie M.

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

A very sad story indeed! Accidents like this are unforutnately going to continue to happen, luckily, under our current auto insurance system this child will get the medical care he will likely need for the rest of his life. Under the new proposed bill, HB4936, this child would only be afforded the most limited amount of coverage since he was not in a vehicle. The case is the same for other children and non-drivers, like our elderly parents. Yes, we need to ensure pedestrians are safe, but we also need to ensure that when horrible accidents like this happen that those injured recieve the care they deserve!


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

Good point. But should these accidents fall to the responsibilty of all Michigan drivers; or the driver that caused the accident, as HB4936 would allow? Let's also not forget the victim's health insurance would also provide benefits. Let's not forget that Michigan has the highest auto insurance rates in the country (as a result of unlimited PIP benefits), those rates will continue to rise dramatically w/o changes; as well as, the one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers. All in all, a complicated issue.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

I fear the next accident will be all those kids (with strollers!) getting off bus rt 5 on Packard northwest bound after the split. There's not even a cross walk there yet they have to get to their school on the other side....VERY DANGEROUS spot at rush hour especially! Maybe someone from the city is reading these comments and can do something about it. You can also add arrows on the pavement for all the idiots that don't know how to merge ahead of time when the road goes to one lane near Independence St.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

O my yes. That has a library near there as well. Even school buses find they have troubles with that stop as well. Cars do run that area. Good luck out there.

Lynn Liston

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

The Jackson-Wagner intersection is less than 8 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor. I'm always amused by those who refer to it as being 'out there'. We actually do have sidewalks and traffic lights. :) I read that the boy was struck on the S side of the boulevard, where there really is excellent visibility, a traffic light and a pedestrian crossing. Even if the driver did have a green light and the right of way, you still have to keep your wits about you and watch out for pedestrians, especially the youngsters. For those who wonder - yes, it's true the Ann Arbor pedestrian crossing law does not apply in Scio Twp, but the State law does, as it applies everywhere in Michigan. Let's all hope that this child recovers from his injuries quickly.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

I sure hope this young man recovers well. No matter who's fault it was, I'm sure the driver feels very badly.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

I don't know if there are Walk/Don't Walk signals at this intersection but it is a signaled intersection and not just a random crosswalk. One thing I think is noteworthy though is that the immediate area is very well lit. There are brightly lit auto dealerships on the SW and NE corners so it's never really that dark through that intersection.

Rod Johnson

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

There are Walk/Don't Walk signals but they're the pushbutton kind, and they can take a while, so a lot of crossers just ignore them.

Ryan Munson

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

It is actually a good question of whether this is in the city of Ann Arbor as Wagner Rd. is the boundary.

Rod Johnson

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

No, the Westover subdivision (SE corner of Wagner and Jackson) got annexed into the city years ago. Wagner is the western city boundary between Dexter and Liberty.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

I live in Lake subdivision. The city limit sign is east of the Wagner-Jackson intersection. This intersection is not within the city boundaries.

Ann English

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

The boy was heading into the city from Scio Township. I think I understand the Welcome to Scio Township sign better as a result of your comment; Maple Road technically is Scio's eastern border, but the city's jurisdiction necessarily overlaps the townships' jurisdictions.

say it plain

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

I really hope this person is okay, recovers quickly... This isn't just about distracted drivers or the whole crosswalk broohaha.... That whole section of town is seeing increased foot traffic but the *pedestrian infrastructure* is not good enough to insure pedestrian safety! I hope our City Leaders get past cutesy 'easy' answers like setting up new crosswalk laws and focus on real issues like the ones that exist out there... Those are fast roads that do not support pedestrians... @njd has it spot on... the roads in Ann Arbor area outside downtown need to change if we want to make them safer for pedestrians--you can't just throw a sorta sidewalk on a dark winding 'country-type' road and pretend that this now will work for pedestrians. Again, not to make excuses for distracted or aggressive drivers--I don't like how many there are on our roads either!--but a real comprehensive approach to problem areas like this one would be much better for the community than the us-versus-them awfulness that the whole special-crosswalk law clearly is...


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

The laws of Physics don't take into account the laws of Man... I hope the young man recovers from this incident. Just because pedestrians have the right of way does not mean that they will always get it. Pedestrians also need to be alert when crossing as it is their responsibility to look for oncoming vehicles. Remember kids "Stop... Look... Listen"


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

If the truck driver had a green, the kid didn't have right of way. The mid-block crosswalk ordinance doesn't apply when there are traffic signals!

Lynn Liston

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

The intersection of Jackson and Wagner has stoplights and has sidewalks with well-marked crosswalks on the SW side and crossing to the northwest side. It's also a divided boulevard at that point and there is clear visibility in all directions. However, there is a large auto dealership on the NE side with a lot of traffic in and out of their parking lot, and a demolition site on the NW side, site of a former auto dealership. The North side of Jackson at Wagner is not really optimal for foot traffic. I hope the young man is going to make a good recovery.

Ann English

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

The article says he was walking across Wagner Road on Jackson Road's south side, not north side, but there's an auto dealership at the SW corner too; only the SE corner has residences. When I approach that intersection in the morning from the north, I usually get a red light to wait at. Now I'm going to look for crosswalks across Jackson Road. A pedestrian could get hit or surprise a driver turning onto Jackson Road , especially if the motorist is making a left turn onto it; we can see pedestrians crossing a road much more easily if we're going to turn right. The fact that it's getting darker just increases the chance a pedestrian walking north across Jackson could get hit by a southbound driver turning east. Jackson and Wagner is a big intersection.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

I hope the teenager has a full and speedy recovery. That area near the I-94 ramp on the west side is one more place where Ann Arbor dumps sidewalks and bike lanes onto road systems designed for large volumes of auto traffic going really fast. I normally walk and bike around town, but when I'm in that area I find myself driving aggressively if I don't consciously slow down. We can and should blame the party at fault, but roads also have their own social psychology. Outside the downtown, Ann Arbor's roads encourage drivers to be distracted and aggressive.

Rod Johnson

Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

It's true, the sidewalks stop at Weber's and don't start up again until you're into Scio on the other side of Jackson. Walking and biking in that stretch is scary. And you're right about drivers, on suburban arterials everywhere. That's not what happened here, though. Scio, in its infinite wisdom, decided several years ago to stop supporting AATA in the Township. That means a lot of kids in Scio have to walk to Wagner to catch a bus (or take the WAVE, which has limited hours). There's a lot of pedestrian traffic at that intersection, from all directions, and drivers don't really expect it.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

Sadly, this only adds to the list of teenaged victims of vehicle accidents in our area: the Chelsea cross country runners; the bicyclist riding to Pioneer High School; and now this. It's dark time of the year...drivers must pay more attention and watch out for our children and all pedestrians.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

I also suggest people walking in the dark carry a flash light!


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

I agree, drivers must pay attention... but at the same time, so do the pedestrians. People have to know that when it is dark, and you don't have headlights attached to your body, you are not very easy to see.

Red Floyd

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

There's a crosswalk at Wagner and Jackson? I didn't know there were even sidewalks out there.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 7 p.m.

Whether there is a sidewalk or not there are people that live out there that need to walk places.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

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Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Not enough information yet to know what happened. Anything else is speculation. Hopefully we'll learn more soon.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

I hope against hope that will provide more details as they are available.Fact we think we know are.. It was a crosswalk. It was dark. A pedestrian was hit. End of facts. The possibilities that we don't know are endless. Was he crossing with or without the walk sign? Was the driver distracted? Was the pedestrian wearing dark colors? Was the driver drunk? No need to assume it was the pedestrians fault or the drivers fault. We need more fact IF we feel the need to judge.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

witness said the light was green for the truck in the article.