Local News

Concern expressed over Athens Drive High traffic after student hit

Posted February 5, 2010
Updated February 7, 2010

— A 16-year-old driver was charged Friday morning after a fellow Athens Drive High School student was hit and seriously injured in front of the school, police said.

Freshman Phoebe Miller, 14, was crossing Athens Drive in a crosswalk at about 7:15 a.m. when she was hit by a Jeep, police said. An accident report indicates the Jeep was traveling at 35 mph in a 25-mph zone.

Miller, the daughter of an Athens Drive High assistant principal, suffered a broken leg and severe injuries to her face. She was listed in good condition Sunday afternoon at WakeMed.

Junior Lainey Kathryn Childrey, of 111 Durington Place in Cary, was charged with speeding and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Athens Drive High junior Kimberly Fox said she uses the crosswalk every day and called it risky and unsafe.

"I saw the girl in the road," Fox said. "I kind of knew that it would happen, and (I'm) sad that it did."

Her father, Kevin Fox, said he was torn up after seeing the incident.

"I've been telling Kimberly for three years somebody's going to get hurt in that crosswalk because people are just not paying attention. They're speeding through here," he said.

A WRAL News crew didn't see any cars slow down as students waited at the crosswalk on Friday afternoon. Some students said cars always speed through the area, even in bad driving conditions like Friday's rain.

"There's a lot of kids out there and a lot of 16-year-old drivers that are learning to drive still. They're probably not as careful as they can be or have the experience," parent Lisa Griffin said.

Athens Drive High has a security guard that often stands by the crosswalk, but the school doesn't have a crossing guard, officials said.

A spokesman for the Wake County school system said no local high school or middle school has a crossing guard. Some elementary schools do, depending on the need, he said.


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  • boolittlek Feb 9, 2010

    Brittany, yes, drivers of all ages speed—-but the reasons they do so are irrelevant. Despite your assertions to the contrary, when you speculate on a driver’s state of mind and inject reflections about the “fast pace [sic]” lives of teenagers into the discussion, you are rejecting personal responsibility and attempting to lessen the offending driver’s culpability. Suggesting that teens “don't have the time to slow down all the time” is ludicrous. I do not wish to condemn the young driver in this case; nor do I wish to impeach the judgment or driving ability of all teenagers. But the logic you use in defending teen drivers is absurd.

    On a final note, it would be edifying if you could cite specific evidence of my “poor grammar skills.” Perhaps you should consult the English teachers at Athens Drive. After comparing our respective writing samples, they can explain the concept of irony to you (once they stop laughing).

  • fubar Feb 8, 2010

    I am stunned that WRAL has revealed the name and address of the driver, a minor. Is that even legal?
    There is a lot about this incident that we don't know -- did the student dart out in front of her, leaving insufficient time and space to avoid hitting her regardless of speed? How was it determined that the driver was speeding?
    This was a sad and tragic accident for both parties.
    If speeding truly was a factor in the accident, I would like to see increased police enforcement of the school zone speed limits around ADHS. I am very familiar with those roads, as I take my child to school at ADHS each morning. Almost no one drives 25MPH. It's not (as someone mentioned) the parents dropping off kids that are speeding -- I think they are more aware of the school zone and the dangers therein, and don't tend to speed as much. I think more often it's the drivers who are passing through en route to somewhere else.

  • Scubagirl Feb 5, 2010

    So let me get this straight. Those who are defending this driver are teens?!?!!? who think they weren't doing something wrong, it was the weathers fault not mine.....COME ON!!!!!!!1

  • ksh33 Feb 5, 2010

    Prime example of dummying down our future. A crossing guard at a high school crossing? Are you serious? I see the need in elementary and middle as we are teaching kids the proper procedures for crossing the road, but in high school? If a 14 year old cannot correctly cross the street, they need to be on the bus or dropped off at the door. If they don't know how to cross the road as a teenager, when will they learn? No crossing guards at the job or at college! Give me a break!

  • FragmentFour Feb 5, 2010

    State law says pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way - whither the drivers are speeding or not. Looks like the school system may "have a need" to get crossing guards.

  • wesatisfyu Feb 5, 2010

    Excuse me Desiderata but most people have lives and have places to be not all of us can stay at home when the weather is bad like you can. Everyone makes mistakes and I'm sure you have made a few yourself

  • johnhughey349 Feb 5, 2010

    What is this "she felt she was above the law. NO. She was going somewhat fast and hit someone crossing the street. She wasn't on a rampage looking for pedestrians to hit, she was just unlucky, it could have been anyone. It's not like she went straight through the kid, she most likely slammed on her brakes but wasn't able to stop in time. It was a terrible accident and i feel bad for both kids.

  • bluewater7777 Feb 5, 2010

    "Athens Drive High has a security guard that often stands by the crosswalk,"
    What's the function of security guard standing by the crosswalk ?

  • NicoleKay Feb 5, 2010

    I realize that you have the right to inform the public of recent news, but I think you should limit your reporting to information that is actually pertinent to a story's background or credibility. This article is fine and raises legitimate concerns about traffic safety, however, I would really appreciate it if you could go back and take out the driver's personal address from the story. That is not pertinent information and nothing good could possible happen from that kind of specific, personal detail remaining on a public site.

    Thank you.

  • Desiderata Feb 5, 2010

    YES IT IS THE DRIVERS FAULT!!!! When you get your licence,,you have taken on the responsibilty to know the laws and be aware of others and potential problems...."do unto others.." would work well here! She knew the laws and thought she was above it...it is better to be cautious ..be late to something than to risk anothers life or your own...in inclement weather ..LEAVE EARLY AND BE AWARE OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS..that being said...I'm staying home in the bad weather...do n;t need to be any where that bad !