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Teen Walking to School Hit By Car, Dies From Injuries

Christina Morris-Ward was a sophomore at Seneca Valley High School

(Updated 2:15 p.m.) Seneca Valley High School is mourning the death of sophomore Christina Morris-Ward, who was fatally struck by a car as she walked to school Wednesday morning.

“The first thing I thought when I was notified this morning was to take a moment of prayer,” said Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen, who knew Morris-Ward during his tenure as Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School’s principal. “We didn't know right away that it was one of our students, but we did know where it happened.”

According to Montgomery County police, Morris-Ward, 15, of the 19900 block of Sweetgum Circle, was in the process of crossing Germantown Road when she was struck by a 2010 Ford Fusion travelling north on a green signal. Police said she died at the hospital.

Seneca Valley is bordered by Middlebrook Road and Great Seneca Highway, two of Germantown’s busiest streets. Cohen said the route Morris-Ward took across Germantown Road — another major thoroughfare — was a common path for students who walk to school.

"I think that's one of the responsibilities any school has, to make kids more aware that while school is a very safe place to be, they need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Cohen, who addressed reporters outside of the high school Wednesday.

“Our roads are heavily travelled,” Cohen said. “Early in the morning and in the evenings, when it starts to get dark or when the sun is just starting to come up, its an especially good time for them to be cognizant of their surroundings."

Cohen said the days moving forward would be hard for students and teachers who remembered Morris-Ward as being quiet, with a “contagious smile.” 

“The lesson to be learned is a very simple one,” Cohen said. “I wake up every morning and I make sure that I hug my children, kiss my children. I tell them that I love them. We teach them to be safe, to be aware of their surroundings.”

Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig said letters were being sent home to parents, notifying them of the death.

Cohen said students and staff had not yet made plans to memorialize Morris-Ward.

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This update was corrected to reflect the correct address for Morris-Ward, who lived on the 19900 block of Sweetgum Circle.

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(Updated 12:13 p.m.) A Seneca Valley High School student was fatally struck by a car as she was walking to school Wednesday morning, Montgomery County Police said.

Police said Christina Morris-Ward, 15, of the 19900 block of Sweetgum Circle, was in the process of crossing Germantown Road, when she was struck by a 2010 Ford Fusion travelling north on a green signal.

Morris-Ward was taken to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, police said.

Morris-Ward was a sophomore at Seneca Valley.

(Updated 11:19 a.m.) A teen pedestrian hit by a car in Germantown on Wednesday has died from her injuries, a Montgomery County Police spokesman told Patch.

Christina Morris-Ward, 15, was transported to Shady Grove and later died after she was struck by a car on Germantown Road, near Wisteria Drive, according to Montgomery County Police Cpt. Paul Starks. 

At around 7 a.m., police were dispatched to Germantown Road and Wisteria Drive for reports of a pedestrian struck.

Starks said the driver, a 27-year-old male, stayed at the scene to assist. 

Circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation.

Morris-Ward was a 10th grader at Seneca Valley High School, Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig confirmed.

Tofig said students had been notified of Morris-Ward’s passing and that school officials would notify parents by letter and by phone. 

Editor's Note: This update was corrected since it was initially published to reflect that Christina Morris-Ward was transported to Shady Grove hospital.

(Original, 9:53 a.m.) A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle while walking near Wisteria Drive and Germantown Road Wednesday morning around 7:03 a.m., Montgomery County Police spokeswoman Angela Cruz said.

Police were still on the scene as of 9:30 a.m. but no other details are available at this time.

Carolyn Levine November 04, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Nobody should have to walk to school in the dark. Ever.
Gwen Ward December 05, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I can respect all of the comments that you all have posted, but my child lost her life, this comment is for the ones that feel they need to JUDGE her faults. When you are in my shoes, and I hope that never happens, you to will know what my family is going through. You must be a friend of the driver to sound so heartless. I am a driver, and I always look out for Pedestrians, whether they are right or wrong.
Sarah Calatayud January 28, 2013 at 02:32 AM
http://avon.patch.com/blog_posts/to-the-parents-of-the-boy-i-almost-killed-on-lovely-street
Maribel Ibrahim March 22, 2013 at 02:07 AM
This is such a sad story. All of this could have been avoided if our school systems stop forcing children to travel to school in pre-dawn hours and on unsafe roads. While certainly students do need to take responsibility for themselves, they are completely sleep deprived at this time of the morning. Start School Later has been working tirelessly to get a task force bill passed in the Maryland House of Delegates to investigate safer school start times. For more information on our efforts and why early school starts are detrimental to students, visit www.StartSchoolLater.net You can also read our latest efforts on our bill (http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8709b42d0d2dcba7e7f5dbe6d&id=59db424960) and call your representative to get this bill out of subcommittee and onto the house floor for a real vote. It's time to start speaking up for the safety of our youth.
Nina October 11, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Awww. This is really really sad. My daughter is same age. I was watching the movie RV on Crackle and I saw the clip. Then I did s google search to find out more. I tweeted it and I emailed it to my kids and I want to print it and place it on their room door. If I ever see my kids with head phones on And looking at phone while crossing the street again, I'm cutting head phones in half and I'm taking iPhone for 2 days. This is serious. I'm very sorry Christina is gone. And yes it's sad kids have to travel to school in the dark too. Little C will Never be forgotten.

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