Investigation follows Palmetto teen killed crossing busy road

The Palmetto fatality underscores the need to address adjusting the intersection.

Palmetto, Fla. -- Manatee School District officials say the victim’s family has their deepest sympathies, but Myquarios Kelly's relatives want more than that.

They’re demanding change at the intersection of 23rd Street East and U.S. Highway 41, where the 15-year-old was struck and killed on his way to Palmetto High School early Thursday morning.

“A walkway overpass, that's what they need,” said Kelly’s great-aunt Lelia Marshall.

10News WTSP, getting answers on behalf of the family, is first looking into the intersection itself.

Records show there have been seven accidents at the same location in the past year here. One of them, which was fatal, involved a collision between a car and semi-truck, not a pedestrian.

The Florida Highway Patrol says that's not out of line with other nearby intersections.

So we asked whether the family’s desire for a footbridge would be warranted at the crossing where Kelly was killed more than other spots along the highway.

The answer?

“Based on the numbers that we have, no, it would not be,” said FHP Capt. John Donovan.

School officials do, however, say they'll look into other factors including lighting, and whether a crossing guard is warranted given the number of students who use the intersection. Those issues they will also have to discuss with municipal and transportation workers.

“Because of what happened, you know, we will definitely look at the situation and see if there any improvements that can be made,” said Manatee School spokesman Michael Barber.

10News also asked about the Kelly family's questions about busing.

According to the district's records, said Barber, the 15-year-old lived within a two-mile radius of school, so under state guidelines, busing is not mandated.

Kelly’s great-aunt says the teen's mother had asked for an exception due to heavy traffic.  

“She tried to get a bus route for them to pick him up, and they didn't pick him up they said they couldn't do it.,” said Marshall.

Asked whether there was a formal record of such a request, Barber told us, “I'm not aware of one, no.”

The district's advice to those living within a two-mile radius is to consider driving kids to school or exploring carpool options. Also, walk with your student or encourage them to walk with other students.  And both school officials and the highway patrol both stressed the importance of reviewing traffic rules and signals.

“And everybody that has kids, they need to watch out for their kids,” said Michael Kelly, Myquario’s father, “And make sure that they don't let that happen to them.”

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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