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Teen Andrew Owens hit by a car while crossing the street on Walk to School Day

2:13 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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Brandon, Florida -- A teen was hit by a car on a day that was supposed to be about pedestrian safety.

According to deputies, 15-year-old Andrew Owens was heading to school around 7 a.m. Wednesday when he was hit by a car crossing Parsons Avenue.

The accident happened on Walk to School Day.

"National Walk to School Day: let's take advantage of that when the kids get home from school today. Reinforce that message to cross at those crosswalks, stay on the sidewalks and don't dart out there in front of that traffic... and we'll tell the motorists, the drivers out here [to] be mindful of these kids," said Deputy Larry McKinnon.

National Walk to School Day is designed to help teach children about safety on the roads. More than 400 Westchase Elementary school students walked to school with their parents and learned more about the importance of pedestrian safety.

"I definitely learned something myself today, too," said parent Lisa McKenna, who is a mother of four. "I always thought that I was pretty safe with them."

The McKennas are strong advocates of street safety and they teach their children to stand for the same.

Event organizers hope events like this one not only help to bring the community together, but also prevent accidents like the one that sent Andrew Owens to the hospital this morning.

"We see that about 61 children every day are getting hit by cars and there's a lot of education that we still need to do," said Jaime Verberne of St. Joseph Hospital.

According to deputies, since there are sidewalks on both sides of the road and the place where the accident happened was not a crosswalk, the driver of Wednesday morning's crash is not at fault.

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