Improving school crossings

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SOUTHMAYD, Tex.--A community is trying to improve safety at a Southmayd intersection after a tragic accident that killed an 8-year-old boy. They have known for some time the danger at the intersection, but the recent accident created more urgency.

8-year-old Jarred Winegeart's mother was driving him to school when a truck hit their vehicle, and Jarred was killed on impact. It happened on Highway 56 and McElroy around 7:45 Friday morning.

Southmayd officials presented a request to TX DOT Monday, asking for a traffic study along Highway 56 near the elementary school. They say hundreds of parents cross the busy road twice a day some even on foot as they walk their children to school.

TX DOT officials say they'll check the average speed along the road, and the amount of foot traffic across the Highway. They hope these measures will prevent tragedies like Friday's from happening in the future.

“We can’t prevent the accidents but if we can do our part to make it safer for our students, the ones driving and crossing the street and just slowing down,” said Jeff Bullard, S&S school board president.

TX DOT officials say once they complete their traffic study, they'll write an ordinance to submit to the city of Southmayd.

“Definitely, if we can get it declared a school zone which I think we can do, then we can get the speeds there reduced, but it will be up to the people to observe the traffic devices that are in place,” said Daniel Pepe, mayor of Southmayd.

Parents in the S&S school district say they are compiling a petition to demonstrate community support for the school zone.


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