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Student Almost Hit by Driver Outside Brownsville Middle School

3 years 8 months 1 week ago Monday, March 19 2018 Mar 19, 2018 March 19, 2018 5:24 PM March 19, 2018 in News

BROWNSVILLE – The student drop-off and pick-up area at Oliveira Middle School in Brownsville is busy and congested.

A Brownsville Independent School District parent told CHANNEL 5 NEWS it also turned dangerous for his sixth-grade son a week ago.

"There was nobody out front and there was a car that just decided to skip ahead, and he came in within inches of hitting my boy," Joe Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez tells us the driver took off, leaving his wife and son shaken up.

He said there were no crossing guards to help protect his son or the other children trying to get to school.

"I would be receptive to see how the school district has their own police department, maybe setting up, you know – having more presence in the area," he said. "It shouldn't be my kid or anyone else's kid for that matter that actually have to get hurt.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS went to Oliveira Middle School Principal Cynthia Castro to find out why a guard wasn't on duty at the time of the incident.

Castro said an unexpected emergency pulled them away.

"We had an incident we had to respond that needed immediate medical attention from myself to keeping another set of crowd control with the students out in the courtyard," Castro said. “Again, like I said, we've got 1,100 students."

Castro said crossing guards are on duty at all times, even she and other staff members help control traffic.

The student drop-off system has worked well, she said, and this incident was the exception.

"I served with the military for eight years - safety is one of the biggest things that I look at," Castro said. "I did notice that it was a huge concern the way we had it before, so we did re-route parents and it's been successful for the last almost seven years that we’ve been here."

Castro added there's always room for improvement. She tells us she will review the incident to see how this can be avoided.

Gonzalez said there was police presence Monday morning that helped slow down drivers. He wants that to also become the norm around the school to keep his son safe.

He filed a report with the Brownsville Police Department to report the driver that almost hit his son.

Castro is also asking drivers to obey school zone laws by sticking to the following:

  • Speed limits in school zones are typically limited to 20 miles per hour
  • It’s illegal to text and drive in a school zone
  • Parents dropping off their children should wait their turn to drop off their child at a safe spot
  • Obey crossing guards’ commands
  • Always be alert

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