Residents express concern over road where Payson teen was hit, killed

Posted at 8:45 PM, Dec 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-08 22:45:17-05

PAYSON, Utah -- Joan Greenhow lives right next to where Adam Renik lost his life on Monday.

The 14-year-old Mt. Nebo Jr. High student was celebrating his birthday that day, before two cars in different directions ran into him as he crossed the street.

Greenhow said she sees students take the same route he did every day, making the cut across Utah Avenue.

“They’ll just kind of cut, even on a diagonal or just straight across,” she said.

It’s a blocks out-of-the-way trip to the nearest designated crosswalk up the street.

With Utah Avenue being a busy road, residents like Greenhow said something was bound to go wrong.

“I was just sickened that a lot of us think the inevitable happened,” she said.

Greenhow and other residents told FOX 13 News they want to see change.

“Maybe another crosswalk in the vicinity,” Greenhow suggested.

Payson Mayor Richard Moore said Utah Avenue’s been on their radar.

“We’ve spent a lot of time on it,” he said.

Both he and Lt. Bill Wright with the Payson Police Department said the street, along with other roads, comes up when the city reviews its safe routes to school plan every year.

Payson city officials, police, the Nebo School District and a state traffic engineer meet to pick the best way for students to walk to school, Wright said.

“It’s something that is actually talked about each year as we sit down,” Wright said.

They’ve made the crosswalk up the street, near Taylor Elementary School, the recommended route to cross Utah Avenue.

“We do everything we can to encourage them to use the safe walking route,” he said.

Police have also upped patrols, city officials said, to keep cars in check.

“From January to now alone, we’ve issued 75 citations,” Moore said.

Though, police noted, only a handful were for moving violations like speeding.

And the cars involved in Adam’s death were not speeding, Wright said.

But after Monday’s accident, they both say it’s possible they’ll take another look at Utah Avenue.

Wright said they would have to do a traffic study before figuring out what, if any, action to take.

“See how many cars are there, versus how many pedestrians crosses that particular area,” he said.

For now, walking up to the crosswalk is the best bet to keep kids safe on that road.

The Renik family said Tuesday they’ve planned services for Adam on Monday morning. The time and location have not been publicly released.

The family also said they set up a memorial fund for Adam, at America First Credit Union in Payson.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so under the Adam A. Renik Memorial Account.