Car strikes child in Northeast D.C., suffers critical injuries

(Photo: Jim Joslyn)

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A 2nd grader at a Northeast Washington elementary school suffered critical injuries after being struck near campus, fire officials say.

D.C. Fire tweeted that the 8-year-old boy was hit near the LaSalle-Backus Education Campus in the 500 block of Riggs Road NE near the D.C./Maryland border. He was transported to Children's Hospital with critical injuries.

The 8-year-old boy had just left Phylicia Swinson's house with her son on the way to the recreation center right next to the school. She heard the screeching of car breaks and a crash.

“My son knows not to cross the street like that but Teon was not listening when he told him to come back and two teachers were there telling him to go back,” she says. “But he didn't listen and he just ran.”

ABC7's Horace Holmes reports that eyewitnesses say there were numerous kids in the area at the time of the crash because school was let out early for Spring Break. Reports say that the victim was trying to cross the road back to meet with friends at a nearby recreational center when the crash happened.

“I saw the blur of the little boy stepping out and when he got out I saw him rolling,” says Michele Clements. “I work for Medstar so I got out and thought I could do something to help.”

Trenita Collins, a parent of a child at Lasalle, was walking on Riggs Road across from the school. She and other parents said there wasn't a crossing guard on duty.

Both the school and Riggs LaSalle Community Center sit in this section of Riggs Road, and neighbors tell Holmes that they've been fighting for years to install speed bumps or flashing warning lights in the area because of the high volume of foot traffic from children.

They say that drivers on Riggs Road entering the District from Prince George's County regularly pick up speed as they come down this stretch of road.

The striking car stayed on the scene, reports say.

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