BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A kindergarten student was struck by a car Thursday morning as he was on his way to school around 7:34 a.m. at the busy intersection of 8th Avenue North and Messer Airport Highway, an area one resident said is notorious for near misses.
Children’s of Alabama identified the child as Mikel Stallworth. He is currently in critical condition.
“My stomach just kind of like hit bottom because I hoped that it was an animal and not a kid, but when I got up close and saw the legs, I immediately jumped out,”said Regeel Malik, an eyewitness.
Malik was on his way to work as he drove behind a truck on Messer Airport Highway, he noticed a group of children walking to C.W. Hayes Elementary School attempting to cross the street, but one of them didn’t make it.
“I guess he was following another little kid and I guess he got caught in between getting on the curb and the car coming, so it was more like a deer in the headlights syndrome,” Malik said. “So he kind of stutter stepped and that’s when the car slid and made impact and pent him to the curb.”
The driver of the truck immediately backed the car up to get it off the child’s shoulder — he laid there, still breathing but unresponsive.
“He took about two deep breaths and was trying to move and he kind of got unresponsive again, so as I talked to him and started coaching him through it, he started moving his eyes, he started fluttering his eyes, I kept trying to keep him with us.”
“It was just a matter of time and I was praying that never happened,” said Brenda Holifield, the PTA president at C.W. Hayes.
Holifield said this has been an ongoing issue in regards to safety on this busy street. “I’ve been asking for sometime for flashing lights or a cross over, if we could just have a red light that could really help,” she said.
On a road so close to a school, Holifield said not everyone keeps children’s safety or the nearby school in mind.
“Wednesday, I think last week, I had to stop my vehicle in the middle of the street, to let children by, I think it’s about six or seven children that come this way everyday in the mornings and afternoons.”
WIAT 42 News has reached out to the Birmingham school board to see what is being done to address this problem; at press time we were still waiting to hear back.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News