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Three Kelowna girls injured walking to school

Three Grade 7 girls who were struck by a car while en route to school Wednesday morning will need some time to heal from the injuries they incurred, say school officials.

“Two of them were quite banged up in terms of bumps and bruises,” said Hugh Gloster, superintendent of the Central Okanagan School District.

“The third girl; her face made contact with the pavement and she had some more issues in terms of dental work.”

Mounties confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that broken bones were among the list of injuries for two of the children, but that none of their wounds were life threatening.

The “health and well-being” of all involved is paramount to the school district, said Gloster, noting that they intend to deal with the emotional fallout of the crash by sending counsellors to the school.

The girls were hit by a car at the intersection of Gerstmar and Graham as they headed toward Springvalley Middle School just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Mounties made it to the scene shortly thereafter, and closed a portion of Graham Road so their reconstructionists could piece together what caused the driver to run into the trio of children.

While some have speculated that the 28-year-old female driver’s car had a foggy windshield, police have yet to confirm that theory. They also haven’t said whether they will approve charges against her.

Const. Kris Clark did say that he didn’t believe the children were hit in an area with a marked speed limit of 30 km/h. They also weren’t hit at a marked crosswalk.

It is, however, an area that has been of some concern in the past, according to area residents.

To that end, Gloster said that a school traffic safety officer was dispatched to the scene to assist RCMP and assess the needs of the area.

He pointed out that to date, the area has been no more problematic than any number of other roads in the area. “This intersection was not one that was higher on our agenda than others,” he said.

Const. Clark said crashes are unusual in areas like the one where the girls were hit. “On residential streets, typically drivers are more aware of kids going to and from the school,” he said.

He also pointed out that it’s important that pedestrians be aware of driver behaviour.

“(Tuesday) we had a crash where the glare from the sun caused visibility issues,” he said. “As a pedestrian you need to be concerned for your own safety. You won’t win the battle with a car. Take that second to get eye contact with a car (driver) before you cross the street.”

kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

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