9-year-old struck near DC school in stable condition, Bowser ordered road closure

A 9-year-old boy who was taken to the hospital in D.C. on Friday after being struck while leaving school is in stable condition Saturday morning, and Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered city transportation officials to close the road while new traffic cameras are installed.

The incident happened around 2 p.m. as the child left school early, police said. He was struck in the roadway outside of a crosswalk. The driver of the striking vehicle stayed on scene and has been working with police, according to D.C. police Assistant Chief Jeffery Carroll.

Carroll asked that anyone who witnessed the crash contact police.

Speaking jointly with Carroll near the scene of the crash on 3300 Wheeler Road SE, Bowser said she was “very concerned, and our thoughts are with this young person and his family.”

Bowser said drivers in D.C. have been speeding more in the last few years, which has resulted in an increase in traffic-related deaths.

“We are all very focused on how we make our roads safer for all users of our streets,” Bowser said. “As users of roadways, all of us — especially drivers — have to slow down, we have to stop being distracted while driving … and especially in school zones, be mindful of our young people moving around.”

She also requested that the District Department of Transportation close the road surrounding the scene of the crash “for an extended period of time” to install traffic cameras.

Police didn’t identify the child, who they said is in critical but stable condition.

The District announced Thursday that 19 new traffic cameras would be installed across the city in an effort to curb speeding and reckless driving. One of those planned locations is about a block away from the scene of the crash, in the 3400 block of Wheeler Road SE.

Bowser implemented a plan for the city to eliminate traffic deaths in the city by 2024 called “Vision Zero,” but the number of fatalities has risen almost every year since it was rolled out in 2015.

Neighborhood advisory commissioner Salim Adofo told WTOP that the city has done its part by providing traffic cameras, but that it is now on the community to slow down while driving. He said he advocated for better driver safety training.

The scene of Friday’s crash is only a few blocks from where a pair of young girls and their father were critically injured after being struck by a car in October.

WTOP’s Scott Gelman contributed to this report. 

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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