WATCH: Area residents say they sent a letter warning the municipality about the dangers of the intersection just days before an 11-year-old girl was struck. April Lawrence reports.
Ask anyone in the area around Ash Road in Saanich and they will note safety concerns at the intersection with Torquay Drive.
“We’re particularly concerned about the safety of the children and the risk that crosswalk poses,” said resident Alan Martin on Wednesday.
Their fears were realized Wednesday morning when an 11-year-old girl, on her way to school, was struck by an SUV in the crosswalk.
Layla Bui was rushed to Victoria General Hospital where she remained in a medically induced coma Thursday afternoon.
Her condition is serious, but Saanich Police said Thursday she was showing some signs of stabilizing.
“Our wishes go out to the parents who instead of sitting beside a Christmas tree are sitting beside a hospital bed and that shouldn’t happen,” said President of the Gordon Head Residents’ Association Chris Poirier-Skelton
The Gordon Head Residents’ Association sent an email to the municipality just this past Sunday, warning of the dangers of the intersection and suggesting improvements.
“It’s not just speed but the increased amount of vehicles,” said Poirier-Skelton.
They also pointed out that as you drive up Ash Road, as the SUV would have done Wednesday morning, it’s hard to see the crosswalk and the area around it.
“The people in cars don’t have the reaction time needed to stop if there’s a pedestrian there,” she said.
The residents are asking the municipality to change the flashing amber light at the intersection to a pedestrian controlled light so it will turn red when someone’s trying to cross the street.
Saanich Police say their investigation is still in the early stages, and there’s no word yet on what caused the crash or if speed was involved but the District of Saanich says its traffic committee will be discussing it at its next meeting.
“I’m not sure what needs to be done at this intersection at this time but we’re going to give it a very serious look because I think the public has great concerns over this based on this incident,” said Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell.
But the greatest concern is for little Layla Bui who continues the fight of her life.