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9-year-old has 'extremely serious injuries' after Westwood crash

WCPO montana avenue crash.jpeg
Posted at 3:59 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 07:35:00-04

CINCINNATI — A 9-year-old boy remained in critical condition Wednesday morning after a crash that shut down part of Montana Avenue in Westwood Tuesday afternoon, Cincinnati police said.

According to police, the driver struck the child with their vehicle while the boy was crossing Montana near the Gambel-Nippert Branch YMCA. He was hospitalized at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital “with extremely serious injuries,” police wrote.

In 2021 so far, there have been eight crashes along the same stretch of Montana Avenue in Westwood.

"My car got totaled right there, five years ago in the afternoon" said Donna Roeck, who lives nearby. "The girl was driving in the sidewalk."

Roeck said the boy hit Tuesday afternoon is upsetting, but not unexpected: She said residents are afraid to park their cars on the street, let alone allow children to play out front.

Roads surrounding the area where the 9-year-old child was hit Tuesday have no crosswalks available for pedestrians. There are also no speed limit signs nearby.

"Montana has always been a problem when it's not rush hour," said John Eby, a Westwood resident who was also struck by a driver years ago on Harrison. "Part of the problem is enforcement. Some of it is (street) design."

Eby said that design should include a middle turn lane for either direction of traffic because drivers speed up the hill.

"It's a race to get from two lanes to one," he said. "They don't slow down. The only time traffic moves slow is during rush hour."

On Tuesday, the city of Cincinnati resumed its efforts toward completing "Vision Zero," a $1.75 million project intended to make Cincinnati safer for pedestrians.

Data from Vision Zero show that the number of severe or fatal crashes increased from 216 in 2019 to 253 in 2020. The number of pedestrians involved in crashes stayed about the same, though, with 45 in 2019 and 48 in 2020.