On Friday, parents, students and Chapel Hill residents marched down Estes Drive to bring attention to concerns surrounding traffic safety following a recent car crash that struck two middle school students.
Two victims, ages 13 and 14, were walking across a crosswalk at the intersection of Estes Drive and Caswell Road when they were hit by a vehicle on Dec. 31.
Both victims were seriously injured. The 13-year-old victim was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, according to a Jan. 5 press release from the Chapel Hill Police Department.
The driver, 69-year-old Norma Martin of Durham, was charged last week with failure to yield to to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, the statement read.
Anne Goldstein — the first person to respond to the late December accident and notify authorities — organized the protest to raise awareness to the incident and dangers associated with the crosswalk itself.
“If I’m not doing something, I feel sick,” Goldstein said, explaining her motivation for organizing the protest. “So hopefully, I’ll feel less sick tomorrow.”
Katharine Kollins, who assisted Goldstein in setting up the event, estimated that between 150 and 200 people showed up. Protestors held signs and marched in solidarity down Estes Drive toward East Franklin Street.
“What happened is really bad — I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” said Clara Lindner, a student at Guy B. Phillips Middle School directly across the crosswalk.
Kollins, a parent of two kids who walk to CHCCS schools, said she has been advocating for improvements for years.