LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — North Las Vegas parents shared their sadness and pleas for change after two children were hit by a pickup truck after school Friday.
“The pit of my stomach just fell,” Somerset Academy parent Heather Richardson said of the moment she heard the tragic news.
According to North Las Vegas Police, a 12-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister were hit by a pickup truck on Lone Mountain Road near Losee Friday afternoon.
The two were reportedly leaving Somerset Academy, where they both attend classes. Authorities said the children were in a crosswalk, and the driver of the truck did not stop for them.
The driver was identified as 47-year-old Mark Kline. Police said he was alone in the truck when the crash happened.
“I’ve thought since the beginning of the school year that a child was going to get hit,” another parent told 8 News Now, citing safety issues in the area.
“There are so many issues with people speeding,” Richardson added, “not paying attention to this area.”
Parents told 8 News Now the school is positioned along two busy streets that don’t have adequate school zone lighting. They also referenced issues with pick up and drop off crowding before and after classes.
“It’s sad, and it’s not fair,” a parent said of the crash, “but I wasn’t surprised.”
North Las Vegas Police spoke on its efforts to slow people down and prevent dangerous situations like this but told 8 News Now it can be an uphill battle.
“Events like this, they’re horrible,” Public Information Officer Eric Leavitt said. “We are trying to fight the fight, get people to slow down. The problem is when we leave, they just speed right back up.”
Regardless, parents insist something else needs to change right away.
“We know that we can’t do this alone,” Richardson pleaded. “We need the police department and our administration and the community.”
Richardson added that she and her family had complained about this road near the school to North Las Vegas traffic officers months ago but haven’t seen any safety changes.
They hope something new is accomplished so no other family has to face this same agony.
“Hold on, and our prayers are with you,” Richardson shared her message to the family affected. “My prayers are with you.”
Kline was booked into the City of Las Vegas jail Friday. He currently faces four charges, including distracted driving and failure to use care around a pedestrian.
Both children were last listed in “very critical condition” at University Medical Center.
If they do not pull through, Kline could face vehicular manslaughter charges.