Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Condition of girl hit by truck improves to stable

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An 11-year-old girl struck by a truck while crossing Portage Avenue at Ferry Road after school Wednesday has had her condition upgraded to stable, police said this morning.

The girl was taken to hospital in critical condition after the collision at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Witnesses said the Grade 6 student was hit by a westbound  truck while crossing the street about 3:40 p.m. after classes ended for the day at George Waters Middle School in St. James.

Winnipeg police said Thursday officers are still investigating Wednesday’s collision, but they have determined that a Ford F250 pickup truck, being operated by a 22-year-old man, was westbound on Portage Avenue when it began slowing down for a red light at Ferry Road at about 3:40 p.m.

Police said when the light turned green, the driver, who was in the westbound curb lane, accelerated and began passing vehicles still stopped in other lanes when the girl ran out in front of him.

"She's a young girl from Grade 6 and she was running across the street," said one mother, who described pandemonium among parents in the minutes immediately after the accident.

"Thank God my young fellow was right beside me," said the woman, who identified herself as Nancy. She said other parents she recognized were searching for their children to make sure they were safe after the collision.

Another witness, who gave his name as Greg, said he was driving a vehicle heading west on Portage when the light turned green at Ferry Road.

The next thing he heard was the sound of brakes grinding to a sudden halt.

"I was in a car behind the truck" that hit the girl, Greg said.

He described the victim as a young teenager.

He said the light turned green and he saw the girl run across Portage Avenue and get hit by a pickup truck that was two vehicles in front of him.

"The girl was running across the street, the light turned green and she was run over by the truck... She was bleeding," the driver said.

He said it appeared as if the driver didn't see the girl until it was too late.

A white Ford pickup truck was parked at the intersection, surrounded by yellow tape police had strung across the westbound lanes of Portage Avenue.

Traffic heading west on Portage was backed up for blocks during rush hour and side streets were congested with cars that were diverted from the scene.

Parents on the school's advisory board had been discussing the need for a crosswalk at the intersection in recent weeks as a safety measure for students at George Waters Middle School, which is located on the south side of Portage Avenue at Ferry Road.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2012 B3

History

Updated on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM CST: Update with girl in stable condition and new headline.

9:55 AM: replaces photo

12:01 PM: updates with more details on truck and that it accelerated when light changed

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