The death of a Germantown teen who struck and killed during her morning walk to school framed the discussion of Montgomery County Council members Thursday, The Gazette reports.
The council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment and Public Safety committees discussed pedestrian safety as part of a yearly joint work session on the county’s pedestrian safety program.
Councilman Phil Andrews, D-Dist. 3, of Gaithersburg, reportedly said the pedestrian death in Germantown Wednesday was a “tragic reminder of the additional work necessary,” according to The Gazette, which offers a full account at its website, Gazette.net.
According to police, 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 traveling north on a green signal. Police said she died at the hospital. No charges have been filed against the driver.
Morris-Ward's school, Seneca Valley High School, is bordered by Middlebrook Road and Great Seneca Highway, two of Germantown’s busiest streets. Seneca Valley Principal Marc Cohen said the route Morris-Ward took across Germantown Road — another major thoroughfare — was a common path for students who walked to school, Patch has reported.
According to The Gazette, the county plans to evaluate school-related foot and vehicle traffic. The county has already established a program, “Safe Route to School,” which addresses some of these issues, The Gazette reports.
According to county records, there were 399 collisions involving pedestrians in 2011 in Montgomery County with 11 fatalities.
Germantown Road was not flagged as a “high incidence” area in the data presented to the council members.
Piney Branch Road—from Flower Avenue to the Prince George’s County border—had the largest number of pedestrian collisions, 41 between 2006 and 2011, county records show.