Houston & Peach

Child hit by car near Russell Elementary School in Warner Robins

'She was on the ground ... holding her legs and rocking back and forth" - witness

Monica Ridley looked out her condo window across from Russell Elementary School after a 6-year-old girl was hit by a car early Wednesday. Ridley says a crossing guard is needed.
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Monica Ridley looked out her condo window across from Russell Elementary School after a 6-year-old girl was hit by a car early Wednesday. Ridley says a crossing guard is needed.

Monica Ridley looked out of an upstairs window of her condo near Russell Elementary School after a 6-year-old was struck by a car early Wednesday.

"She was on the ground. She was holding her legs and rocking back and forth," said Ridley, who had a birds-eye view of the accident scene at Featherstone Drive and Stoneridge Drive. "Somebody was consoling her."

"There was another girl, she looked like a teenager ... She was crying hysterically," Ridley said.

The 6-year-old, identified as Shai La Ivery, was alert and talking to first responders before being taken by ambulance to Houston Medical Center, according to a Warner Robins police news release.

"She looked like she was OK, but she was hurt," Ridley said. "You could tell by the way she was rocking and crying."

A man, in his 50s or 60s, possibly the driver of the car, was talking with police, Ridley said.

The 6-year-old "was walking to school and stepped into oncoming traffic when she was struck by a (Kia Optima)," Jennifer Parson, public information officer for Warner Robins police, said in an email.

The speed limit on Featherstone Drive, which parallels a side of the elementary school, is 15 miles per hour.

However, speed is not considered a factor in the 8 a.m. accident, the release said.

"They need a crossing guard out here and they've needed it for years," said Ridley, who's lived in her condo at a corner of the intersection where the accident occurred for nine years.

"It's two-way," Ridley said pointing to Featherstone Drive. "You have all these people who are trying to come home, or trying to leave, and then you got the school traffic, and people are just darting in between cars. It's a problem."

A marked school crosswalk is located farther down on Featherstone Drive at Patriot Way, which runs in front of the school.

But Ridley said a crossing guard on Featherstone Drive is needed to guide children in the neighborhood safely across the road.

She said there is a school crossing guard at Patriot Way and Kimbelry Road, which runs along another side of the school and parallels Featherstone Drive.

"There's a lot of kids who go to that school that live right here, and they cut across wherever," Ridley said. "They really need (a school crossing guard) on this side. I've been saying that for a very long time."

Beth McLaughlin director of Community and School Affairs for the Houston County school system, could not be reached for comment.

Officers with the Warner Robins Police Department Traffic Unit are investigating the incident.

Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

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