A four-year-old girl is clinging to life, while her brother, 6, is in serious condition after being struck by a car in Newton.
At 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, a mother, father and their two children were crossing at a marked crosswalk at 76 Avenue and 147A Street when a vehicle struck all of them.
The father escaped without harm, while the mother suffered minor injuries. The two kids were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
As of Wednesday morning, the girl was clinging to life and her brother, 6, was being treated with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver remained on the scene, according to RCMP.
Neither speed nor alcohol are believed to be factors, however, police are still investigating whether the driver was distracted.
Resident concerns about traffic along 76 Avenue came to the city’s attention last year.
Surrey Traffic Operations Manager Sinisa Petrovic said traffic volume and speed were measured on the street and results showed they were within normal ranges.
However, the city decided the crosswalk at 76 Avenue and 147A Street needed to be repainted, which was done three weeks ago, Petrovic said.
The Tuesday accident is just the latest serious vehicle-pedestrian collision in Surrey in just over a month.
On Jan. 8, a 25-year-old woman was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car at 142 Street and 108 Avenue.
On Jan. 9, 77-year-old woman was hit at 72 Avenue and 121 Street and taken to hospital with multiple injuries.
And on Jan. 26, Sarah Dingman, 18, was heading to chef school at Vancouver Community College when she was killed by a car on 152 Street near 104 Avenue.
Her sister wants people to know Dingman was more than just another traffic statistic. Her funeral was on Wednesday and her family is reeling from the loss.
Dingman had a black poodle-yorkie cross named Ringo (she loved the Beatles) and was one of the most loving people you would ever meet, her sister Frankie Pecian said Tuesday.
“She was a very bright, bubbly, caring person that loved her family.”
Pecian said Dingman was too young to die and leaves behind a shell-shocked family, including their mom and a 25-year-old brother.
“She was the baby,” Pecian said. “She was a month into her 18th year.”
Surrey has the unfortunate distinction of being home to the highest ratio of pedestrian-related motor vehicle fatalities in the province.
About half of the people killed on Surrey roads are pedestrians hit by cars.
In this region, about one in three fatalities involve pedestrians being struck, while provincewide, the figure drops to 15 per cent of deaths on B.C. roads.
Police say the public – both drivers and pedestrians – need to get better educated about road awareness.
“Quite simply, if you are distracted or not paying attention to what’s happening on the road in front of you, you are dramatically increasing your risk of either being a victim or the driver involved in a serious pedestrian motor vehicle incident,” said Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann. “For both drivers and pedestrians, it is a good time to review those safety tips, including making eye contact with drivers before crossing and always being ready to yield to pedestrians.”
Some of the main offending activities are:
• Speed: Both pedestrians and drivers aren’t leaving enough time to get to their destinations. Drivers are travelling above the posted speed limit and pedestrians aren’t taking the few extra minutes needed to get to a crosswalk, opting instead to jaywalk.
• Distractions: Again, both drivers and pedestrians are paying attention to things other than the road. Drivers are spending time on cellphones, tuning radios, etc., while pedestrians are also distracted by mobile devices.
• Intersection awareness: Drivers have to be extremely aware of a multitude of things at intersections. Often, drivers are not watching for the unexpected, such as a pedestrian stepping off the curb. Eye contact is crucial to both drivers and pedestrians so that each is comfortable with what the other is doing.