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2 children critically injured in Salt Lake City accident

Posted at 8:54 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-20 19:41:42-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Two school-aged children were critically injured Monday after they were hit by an SUV in Salt Lake City.

The children were rushed to local hospitals in critical condition after the accident on 400 South and 1040 West in the Poplar Grove neighborhood. Investigators say the driver of the Jeep Cherokee was headed eastbound into the glare of the sun around 8 a.m. when the accident occurred.

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Larry Martinez, a neighbor of the injured children, said they were hit while trying to catch a bus.

“It’s terrible to see your kids or your neighbor’s kids get hurt, any kid really," said Martinz.

Roads near the accident scene were closed as officials investigated what had occurred, but were reopened by 11:00 a.m. The driver of the Jeep Cherokee stayed on the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Police say they are treating the accident as a possible impaired driver investigation.

The city had resurfaced the road several weeks ago, but failed to repaint the crosswalk which is located a couple blocks from Franklin Elementary School and a school bus stop. Late Monday, crews arrived to paint crosswalk markings on 400 South.

But Martinez says crosswalk signs and two orange flags are not enough to alert drivers to pedestrians as they often speed in the 30 miles per hour zone.

"We could avoid these accidents if we had a light here that help stop the traffic," Martinez said.

A spokesperson for the city said they will wait for the full results of the accident investigation and "anticipate in the days and weeks ahead we will work both internally and with the community to determine safety measures we can put in place to help prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future."