Colin Matthew Cunningham, a 5-year-old boy, died on Saturday after being struck by a car. The Stevensville boy was running after a group of teenagers when he ran in front of a Jeep Wrangler on Whispering Woods Drive in a townhouse community in Annapolis.
According to police, seven teenagers had crossed the street to play football in a nearby open area. Colin ran after them. After the accident, he was taken to Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital and later declared dead.
The 18-year-old driver of the Jeep had her 16-year-old neighbor and 14-year-old sister in the car with her. She stopped right after hitting the Colin.
Authorities say that the alcohol did not play a part in the car accident, but they would investigate whether she had been speeding.
Statistically, children—especially boys 5 to 9 years of age—are at great risk of being hit by a motor vehicle in a pedestrian accident. Many pedestrian accidents involving young children take place close to their homes, and pedestrian fatalities is one of the leading causes of injury and death for children.
Children frequently don’t have a great sense of danger. They also are not easily able to judge how fast an oncoming car is going. They also can be very impulsive and may run into the street without looking to see if a car is coming.
Saferoutesinfo.org offers a number of safety tips for children that are old enough to cross the street without adult supervision, including:
• Choose the route with the fewest streets to cross.
• Avoid crossing busy or high-speed streets.
• Be more visible to drivers by wearing bright clothing in the daytime.
• Always look for motor vehicles.
• Do not cross behind or within 10 feet of the front of a bus or other large motor vehicle because the driver can not see this area.
• Stop at the edges of driveways and curbs or edges of the street where no curb exists and look for motor vehicles before proceeding.
• Watch for parked motor vehicles that may be getting ready to back up or pull forward.
• Walk, don’t run, across the street.
• If crossing the street at an intersection:
o Obey traffic signs and signals.
o When the signal indicates it is time to cross, check for motor vehicles. Drivers may not obey the rules and turning drivers may not look for pedestrians.
• Look to see if motor vehicles are coming.
Although children need to be careful when crossing the street, it is still the responsibility of car drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers, and motorcycle riders to exercise extreme caution when operating their motor vehicles.
If your child has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident because a driver acted negligently by speeding, driving under the influence of drugs, or for any other reason, your child and your family are entitled to recovery compensation for pain, injuries, suffering, and other related losses.
Stevensville boy, 5, dies after being hit by car, Baltimoresun.com, August 20, 2007
Key Messages For Children, Saferoutesinfo.org
Pedestrian safety for kids and parents, Safety and Consumer Protection
Related Web Resources:
National Strategies for Advancing Child Pedestrian Safety, Federal Highway Administration
Pedestrian Injuries to Young Children
In Maryland and Washington D.C., the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen handles injuries involving minors, pedestrian accidents, wrongful death cases, and all other kinds of personal injury cases. We can investigate your accident and file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of your child and your family.
Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today and ask for your free consultation with Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen.