High school student hit by car, critically injured in NW Charlot - | WBTV Charlotte

High school student hit by car, critically injured in NW Charlotte

(Source: Joseph Muller) (Source: Joseph Muller)

Sixteen-year-old D'Nea Watson was on her way to West Charlotte High School Friday morning when she was hit by a car. She was critically injured and rushed to Carolinas Medical Center. School officials say she is improving. A similar incident happened earlier this week, on the first day of school.

Friday's crash happened along the 1500 block of Beatties Ford Road around 6:45 a.m. This is near the Northwest School of the Arts.

A section of the road in front of the school has been shut down since the crash as a team from the Charlotte Police Department investigates.

Officers say Watson was walking to school when she attempted to cross Beatties Ford without a stop light or crosswalk. Crossing guard Cynthia Smith told WBTV that stretch of roadway is dangerous because of the behavior of some drivers.

"Sometimes they do not go at the speed limit," Smith said. "And sometimes they don't pay any attention. That is not a good thing."

After the crash, the school's principal went to the hospital with Watson until her parents could arrive.

The 34-year-old driver was not injured in the collision. Officers say she cooperated with police and drugs and alcohol are not considered factors in the crash.

"This week, the first week of a new school year, two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students have been struck by automobiles off campus in separate incidents," school officials said in a statement Friday morning.

"These tragic events stress the importance of road safety for motorists and students. We ask that motorists take extra care when driving near school campuses," officials continued. "We encourage parents to speak with their children about looking both ways when crossing streets. Our thoughts are with both students and their families."

Safety officials are now using this incident to come up with a safety plan to help keep students safe. For the next two weeks, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's (CMPD) motorcycle unit will patrol portions of Beatties Ford Road. It will watch out for speeding and inattentive drivers. Also CMS has sent out Connect Ed messages to all elementary and middle school parents to talk to their kids about the proper way to cross the street. All High School principals informed their students about using the crosswalks when crossing the street.

"Be prepared," CMPD Detective Kevin Allred said. "And ready so when it does happen, you might have a better chance reacting to it and avoiding the situation, as opposed to being involved in a crash. It doesn't matter whose fault it is, nobody wants to be in a crash."

Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) will also investigate. Officials say once the police report is done, it will examine what more can be done to improve that stretch of Beatties Ford Road.

CDOT reports there have been 88 accidents on Beatties Ford Road near where the two students were hit. In 2010 there were two pedestrians who were hit and in 2011 there was one pedestrian struck.

This is not far from where 16-year-old Jennifer Crystal Tejeda was struck as she was attempting to cross Beatties Ford Road on Monday afternoon.

Tejeda was hit by a woman driving a 2004 Dodge Stratus around noon Monday.

She was initially taken to Carolinas Medical Center with critical injuries. On Tuesday, officials said her condition had been upgraded to fair and should be released from the hospital soon.

Tejeda was also a student at West Charlotte High School.

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