13-Year-Old Hit by Car Remains in Critical Condition
Despite wearing a helmet, 8th grader suffers brain trauma, broken bones
UPDATE - Mary Robicheaux was upgraded to serious condition Thursday.
ANCHORAGE - Winterberry Charter School student Mary Robicheaux is in critical condition in a local hospital after a car hit her Tuesday night.
In an email from the principal to parents, the 8th grader is said to have brain trauma, multiple broken bones in both legs and a possible spinal injury.
Shortly after 8 p.m., while riding her bicycle home from a friends house, a Toyota Camry hit the 13-year-old while she crossed Northern Lights Boulevard near Bragaw.
Police say she was wearing her helmet.
“There is a pedestrian crosswalk area there that does have flashing lights,” said Anchorage Police spokesperson Anita Shell.
“According to witnesses, those lights were flashing and other motorists had stopped, but he failed to stop and went through the intersection, striking the girl,” said Shell.
Police say 21-year-old Jordan Tuttle was behind the wheel.
Tuttle was traveling west on Northern Lights and staff at Winterberry were told he didn't see Mary because of the blinding evening sun.
Winterberry’s principal says she’s had problems at the same crosswalk.
"I've been blinded in that same place; I think there are several places in Anchorage where we really need to look at traffic and traffic flow,” said Shanna Mall.
On Wednesday, Mary’s classmates made cards and wrote letters, which were delivered to the hospital.
Mall says it's an important time to talk to children. “About how to be safe, how to ride your bike safely and look out for cars, be a defensive bike rider, we know that in Alaska that's really crucial,” said Mall.
At the intersection of the incident, motorists are required to come to a complete stop when the red light is flashing, but many drivers today just rolled through.
“We always encourage bicyclists to make sure the motorist sees them. Make eye contact with the motorist before proceeding forward,” said APD spokesperson Anita Shell.
Police have not charged Tuttle, the driver.
Investigators are still working to determine how fast Tuttle was going and if he had any drugs or alcohol in his system.