Community reacts after 15-year-old girl struck and killed on the way to school

Community reacts after 15-year-old girl struck and killed on the way to school

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - The community is speaking out after a 15-year-old girl was struck and killed while trying to cross the intersection of US Highway 52 and Syracuse Street Tuesday morning.

Many people in this community associate the intersection of Highway 52 and Syracuse street in Darlington with risking their life or worse, getting killed.

Some say most of those taking that risk every morning and afternoon are children on their way to and from school.

"So you know I'm surprised...more kids haven't got killed here. Because this, this is death lane here," Roosevelt Scott said.

Scott grew up in the same neighborhood as 15-year-old Dejah Hough and the news of her tragic death, and how she was struck by both an 18 wheeler and a mini-van Tuesday morning has left neighbors devastated.

"They say it broke ever bone in her body and that's a crying shame, you know, because she's just a kid, she's just trying to make it to school," Cindy Horne explained.

Hough wasn't crossing alone.

One neighbor said he pulled her two younger brothers away from the road after it happened.

A school district spokesperson says the bus route is set up so no child should be crossing a busy highway to catch the bus.

"Right here, this is four lanes isn't it, and they crossing," Roosevelt added.

One after the other, people were still crossing the dangerous intersection on Tuesday afternoon.

"They didn't see her, she probably saw them and figured it was safe to cross anyway," April Harrington said.

Harrington often crosses the road with her family, but says she makes sure no cars are coming.

Neighbors say Hough made it through one side of traffic and was trying to cross through the other when she was struck, a crossing they say is nearly impossible to make.

"By the time you look down this way, this car is already on you," Scott said as he described the two-way traffic.  At the same time, crossing there is what some feel they have to do.

"We come here because the light down there don't last long enough for you to cross with a family and stuff. So you know we come down here and we look both ways, but sometimes that's not enough," Harrington said.

Neighbors say just after 6 in the morning, around the time Hough was hit, is the worst time to cross, because everyone is in a rush.

"It's going to happen again, until we put a stop to it," Scott said.

Many people in the neighborhood feel a traffic light, a cross walk, and crossing guards should all be added to the intersection.

Despite what the school district says about the bus routes not requiring children to cross such busy roads, some community members feel children are still crossing and they will continue to take the risk because it's considered a short cut.

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