NORTH BETHESDA, Md. (WJLA) – A 10-year-old girl was seriously injured when she was struck by a car while riding her bike on Friday evening.
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue tweeted at 6:22 p.m. that the child was struck near the intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Kings Riding Way, west of Route 355/Rockville Pike.
The girl suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries and has been transported to Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Outraged neighbors say the area is notoriously dangerous, but police claim their hands are tied.
Jonathan Mallett had an unwanted seat to the tragedy; he was driving a red compact car when he stopped for a 10-year-old girl, her uncle and another cyclist.
“I was driving along there and I saw the cyclist at the side of the road,” Mallett said. “After I stopped, I heard a slight screeching of tires.”
He watched as the little girl pedaled into the intersection, as a black Cadillac drove alongside him.
“It hit her and dragged her along the road a little bit … she was badly injured,” Mallett said.
The child was knocked unconscious, but her life may have been saved by her helmet.
“She is in serious, but stable condition,” said Capt. David Falcinelli of the Montgomery County Police Department.
The female driver of the Cadillac dropped to the curb, sobbing.
“It’s under investigation,” Capt. Falcinelli said. “We’re not exactly sure where the charges are gonna be placed.”
Residents describe the crosswalk at Tuckerman Lane and Kings Riding Way as a gauntlet, where injuries are common. They point to driver speed as the problem.
“I go up and down this road every day for work, and people are just flying,” said Sarah Morrill.
North Bethesda resident Damion Howard said, “The speed here is supposed to be 35 to 40 … a lot of times, you see 60 to 65 miles an hour.”
“The problem is that they don’t have a proper stop sign for cars or the crosswalk,” Nadhi Bouri said.
Capt. Falcinelli says the area where the girl was hit is one where his traffic squad has spent a considerable amount of time.
Angry homeowners say they’ve pleaded for a stop sign or stoplight, to no avail.
“God forbid, if that child was seriously hurt or killed, maybe police will finally get an itch up their tushies and do something,” a bystander said.
Ironically, Montgomery County Police have been working on the stretch of Tuckerman Lane where the unidentified girl was hit all week, conducting a traffic study. Police want residents to log onto the county website and lodge their complaints there, so that they may be coupled with the findings of the MCPD traffic study to implement a solution.