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Salinas neighbors concerned about crosswalk safety after students hit by car earlier this week

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- Two students were hit by a car Thursday morning while crossing South Main Street at Pine street. They’re expected to be okay, but people in the area said that the intersection is unsafe. 

Arabella Renteria is a graduate of Salinas High School. She remembers all too well how dangerous the roads near campus can be. Not only for students, but drivers as well. 

“One time my brother was taking me to school,” Renteria said. “This was like his first or second day driving officially. And some random person hit him in the center of his car because they weren't looking.”

Concern is not only from students, but also prospective high school parents who worry about their children crossing the busy intersection, like Yesenia Casillas. 

“My son's about to go on to high school,” Casillas said. “And so even our high school that we would be going to so it's concerning as a parent to know that this road is definitely not safe for our students.” 

People living in the area, like Olive Burks, were sad, but not entirely surprised to hear two students were hit in the Pine Street Crosswalk. People said students should be more alert when crossing the street. They also said that drivers need to pay more attention, too. 

“And a lot of kids don't necessarily pay attention, but that doesn't mean that the drivers shouldn't pay attention,” Burks said. “Everybody's more concerned with what's going on on my phone right now. Instead of hey, the light may or may not be yellow or red and there may or may not be people trying to cross the street” 

People also said that they think one problem could be the crosswalk light does not last long enough for people to successfully get across the street. 

“It doesn't last long enough when you're just walking normally,” Renteria said. “and it feels like because it normally is just a giant straightaway. People don't stop no matter what.” 

Some in the community also said that better signage or even strobe lights could help make this intersection safer. 

KION reached out to the city to see if those or any other safety measures for the crosswalk are being considered and we are waiting on a response.

We also reached out to Salinas Police to see if the driver from Thursday’s accident could face any charges and have not received a response. 

ORIGINAL STORY: The Salinas Union High School District confirmed that two Salinas High School students were hit by a car on Thursday morning.

The district said that the two female students were hit by a car in the Pine Street crosswalk around 8:20 a.m.

Salinas Police said that the two students were crossing South Main Street at the intersection of Pine Street. Officers said that they were in the crosswalk but they were in the crosswalk but they were walking during a "Don't Walk" warning.

Officers said that the driver had a green light and the right of way that made a left turn from Pine Street to southbound South Main Street.

The driver who was not a student stopped after the crash and cooperated with Salinas Police according to the district. Investigators said the driver said he did not see the students and his vehicle struck the two students in the middle of the intersection at 10 to 15 miles per hour.

District officials confirmed that emergency personnel arrived and treated the girls at the scene.

Both students were transported to a local hospital where they suffered non-life threatening injuries.

KION has reached out to Salinas Police to see if the driver could face any charges and we are waiting to hear back from them.

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Derrick Ow

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