11-year-old student recovering after being hit by car

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - An 11-year-old student is recovering after being hit by a car while leaving school Friday. She was crossing the street, in a cross walk, when police say a driver didn't yield.

The accident happened as the 6th grader was crossing Park West Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant, leaving Cario Middle School.

"Nobody stops. Nobody pays attention," said Gavin Orlacchio, a student at Cario Middle.

Orlacchio said it's not just dangerous to cross the four lanes of the boulevard before and after school, it is time-consuming.

"It can take 10 to 15 minutes to cross," Orlacchio said.

He has a short walk home, just across the boulevard to the Madison Apartments, but he said it is a scary one because many drivers speed and don't pay attention to students crossing.

His 11-year-old classmate was also heading to the Madison Apartments when she was struck by a car while in the crosswalk.

Her brother says she is lucky to be alive. Adam Rogge said she was thrown 40 feet in the air when she was hit by a pick-up truck. He said it fractured her skull and she spent three days in the hospital.

"We have been getting a lot of people coming here visiting her," Rogge said.

Mt. Pleasant police say a driver in the right lane stopped to let the student cross the street, but the pick-up truck driver, 47-year-old Christopher Dudley, who was in the left lane, didn't stop.

There are signs warning drivers to yield for people in the crosswalk. Police say pedestrians always have the right of way, and drivers must slow down and pay more attention. Parents say that is something most people don't do.

"It's a nightmare for me," said Tom Davis, whose son is a student at Pinckney Elementary in Park West. "I always try to come up to the walk and make sure he crosses alright."

Davis said he wrote a letter to the town's mayor, asking him to consider putting a traffic signal or school zones lights on Park West Boulevard to attract more attention.

Police have charged Dudley with failure to yield at a crosswalk, speeding and reckless driving.

The student who was hit is now recovering at home, and says she hopes to be back in school next week.

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