For the Safety of Our Kids
Posted in the McKeesport Forum
Since: Jul 12
#1 Mar 12, 2014
It is with a heavy heart that I write this.
Young Alyson Higdon's death was a horrific and tragic accident. It was also preventable.
No longer are these the days of the old Vocational School where high school kids are crossing the street. These are 12-14 year old children crossing to and from a Middle School. There should have been a crossing guard on Eden Park Boulevard since the day Founder's opened. It is a miracle such a tragic accident hasn't occurred previously.
The present Mayor, myself, and many others worked to get the flashing lights in when I was on Council. We should have thought it through better and taken the extra step of assigning a crossing guard there. That's a deep regret that I will always live with. It is my hope no other family will have to deal with such a loss and that our present elected officials and administrators will never have to live with any such guilt in the future.
I see three possible solutions.
We have crossing guards that finish their posts at 2:30. The worst case scenario is that we pay them an extra hour. A future tragedy being prevented is certainly worth $7.25 a day.
Teachers and administrators standing guard there are another option. I see Mr. Allen and Mr. Sebilia crossing the kids on O'Neill. Someone else from the district could just as easily step up and cross the kids on Eden Park.
My wife suggested what I think is the best solution. As this intersection is dangerous, perhaps it would be best to have one of our police there in the morning and at dismissal who can turn all the lights red simultaneously and cross the kids in groups. Drivers are far more certain to follow the traffic laws when they see a police presence. Likewise, our kids are more likely to respect such an authority figure in uniform.
My heartfelt condolences to the Higdon family. Aly was a special child from a wonderful family that had already experienced more than their share of loss.
Let's not let Aly's death and the pain her family suffers be completely in vain. Let their loss save other lives and other families the same grief and suffering.
I jave sent a very similar copy of this note to the City and the School District. You can do your part as well. Follow the link below and sign the petition to have a guard at this dangerous intersection. Please share it with your friends as well.
#2 Mar 12, 2014
Get the teachers or administrators to help out , they are still on the clock after the kids get out of school. All they do is BS after the kids are gone and pick their noses. Why should a crossing guard come from the HS down to the middle school? You should have seen the potential there while you were on council. We need people to show up at meetings , you didn't.. Go back into hiding under your other ID's.
#3 Mar 14, 2014
Indeed, this was a horrific tragedy, for all parties involved. Obviously for the Higdon family and for the truck driver, who did nothing wrong. This was just a plain terrible accident.
I do disagree with you, with regards to the crossing guard. What happens if a kid, kids, adult, or what have you, decides to cross before they see a crossing guard? They can, and will, cross wherever they want. You cannot teach common sense. Do you want a fence lining Eden Park Blvd too, only with an opening where the crossing guard stands? Sometimes I feel it's a free for all out there. Kids cross wherever they want, whenever they want. You have kids/adults looking at their I-Phones, not paying attention to where their feet are going to, and not attentive to their surroundings. This doesn't just happen on Eden Park Blvd, but happens everywhere. I see it DAILY in Pittsburgh too. Teach your children, teach them well.
I cross in a crosswalk, when I have a green light and/or signal telling me to cross. There was a parent interviewed on one of the news stations after this happened, complaining because there are no crosswalks. That is ludicrous. The crosswalks are there, and correct me if I am wrong please..... She was hit approximately 50 feet before the crosswalk, right?
Go hug your children, teach them what to do, when to do it, etc... All too often I see parents with their children, crossing streets on a red light, not holding their hands, etc... Around McKeesport, you see a woman walking with her 5,6,7,8,9 kids or whatever, and they are all behind her. She has no clue what they are up to, or whwere they are.
People, take responsibility please,as we know that the school district did not cause this accident, nor did the City of McKeesport.
Alyson, please rest in peace Honey with your daddy. God Bless You.
Since: Jul 12
#4 Mar 14, 2014
I understand where you are coming from and I appreciate you responding. Obviously, parents teaching their kids how and where to cross, and doing it without being distracted with technology is the first step to proper safety.
Here is where I differ with you opinion a bit. On the night of the tragic accident, perhaps because of all the snow and salt use this winter, the crosswalk was barely visible, if at all. Additionally, I'm not sure that there is really much, if any of a delay at the crosswalk there. The city does typically repaint the crosswalks each year but it was a bit early for that. What you see now there is a highly visible crosswalk, painted after the tragedy.
You also get people making the infamous Pittsburgh left and that puts anyone in the crosswalk in danger. There does need to be a longer delay there to make the crossing safe for kids and adults alike. It is once or twice a year at least that I see someone hit at the intersection.
In response to your second point, yes, kids will be kids and all we can do is our best to prevent that. Other than parents, I believe it is the responsibility of the School District to positively reinforce that in school AND take punitive measures, such as detention, when kids are caught breaking the guidelines.
I still believe that we should have a cop there that can control the light. First of all, a uniformed officer is likely to be respected by drivers. Though I don't believe the driver was at fault in this incident, some people do ignore the lights and drive through there like idiots. Secondly, the kids are more likely to respect proper crossing procedure when a uniformed officer is present. He or she will gain more respect than having a teacher standing out there, or nobody at all.
I am not calling you wrong Eddie. As we have seen what can happen there, I'm more prone to err on the side of caution and safety. I only wish I had thought of it when on council and perhaps we wouldn't be having this talk.
#5 Mar 14, 2014
Slugster we welcome you back. Talking about "backs" you watch yours and especially form the city hall direction.
We missed you and your insight and wisdom. Your candidate opinions embedded with insight and wisdom are challenges to the city puppets and MDC stooges and snitches. They do not get mad they just cross over the line to get even.
#6 Mar 14, 2014
yeah welcome back sluggo, if and when you grow some ballz come join the rest of the believers in here along with the corrupt council ,cops and Mayor. step up to the plate and put your name on the ballot.........I say you got NO ballz..........prove me wrong..
#7 Mar 15, 2014
The Slugster has proven wisdom, experience, and courage. He does not hide behind a secretive posting name -- he hangs it out there and spouts the truth.
He is also smart enough to know that the Santa Claus MDC with its nepotism, favoritism, and gifting days off to the employees and the Porkster's contributions have a political death grip on the City. No one will vote against the Santa Claus city government and bite the hand that feeds them. He knows that the MPD and City were sold to the Porkster as the Porkster stated such on an intercepted communication.
The only match for the MDC voters' booth is indictments and subsequent convictions. But it appears that none of the law authorities are sincerely interested in the rule of law. IMO all 16 indicted with walk and slapped on their wrists with a feather.
The MDC and their puppets still fear the Slugster. That is why the MDC tried to frame the Slugster and failed -- egg on face with this one. The MDC's main witness had no creditability and eventually ended up with a conviction on another matter.
The Slugster hit a home run on this one. That is why he is the Slugster.
#8 Mar 15, 2014
I'm not convinced the authorities don't care. Anyone remember the Glassport brothers who worked for the magistrate and common pleas judge about 10 years? It took the Feds at least two years to make their case and nail everybody's ass.
#9 Mar 15, 2014
My feeling is there are 4 parties "at fault" here. There is no such thing as an "accident" really.....every action is the result of another action (or inaction) by another (or multiple) parties....
Blame will not bring this sweet little girl back, but let's be clear.....there are parties at fault.
1) first, obviously the little girl is at fault for running into traffic. HOWEVER, we all know that kids are like a herd of cows...they follow the pack and are not thinking. Kids are "stupid" when it comes to safety sometimes. That is why ADULTS are in charge to protect them.
2) The bus drivers. I am wondering why, if traffic was stopped or slowly moving, and kids were crossing before Alyson at that spot, WHY, for the love of all that's holy, WHY the bus driver didn't flip out the STOP sign and turn on the red lights? so that the vehicles passing to the bus's left could be warned? Not paying attention maybe? Kids cross there all the time...in hoards......the story is that she crossed between two buses. Therefore, the second bus driver should have seen the kids (maybe not her but certainly the first group) and acted accordingly. I see buses doing that all time elsewhere.
3) The truck driver was also partly responsible here. He was changing lanes, going to the left, correct? In a school zone, with the school zone lights flashing, while he was passing two buses on his right and had to have seen the first group of kids crossing. he should have been CRAWLING. Period.
4) The city of mckeesport and the school district jointly. That intersection is a death trap. people crossing traffic to get to Giant Eagle.....backing up traffic in all directions.....people leaving the lot.....that entrance should be closed or re-engineered to begin with. Then , no crossing guards or any way to force pedestrians to cross at the intersection.
Now, let's hope that everyone learns something from this horrible tragedy so to PREVENT it from happening again!
#10 Mar 15, 2014
5) Have a teacher or administrator out there to help out, they pick their noses for 1/2 hour after the kids get out..........as I matter of a fact a lot of the teachers leave way too early, they are not putting in their 8 hours,
put that cigarette out and help the kids cross the street.
#11 Mar 15, 2014
They have the despicable teacher's union on their side and all you have on your side is compassion, grief, morality, common sense, and civic pride.
#12 Mar 15, 2014
Am I missing something? If the lights are flashing and the buses are stopped, why is he passing? It's not a divided road. All traffic should be stopped.
#13 Mar 15, 2014
No you aren't missing anything. There was no bus stop. Don't forget those nuts from Grandview post their craziness on here too. Try to ignore their idiocy
#14 Mar 15, 2014
There was no bus stopped letting children out....there were two buses stopped in traffic in the right lane and the kids walked BETWEEN them. The dump truck was passing on the left, in the left lane.
Troublemaker has no idea what happened and is only good at name calling.
Hey TM - read the damn newspaper and you would be able to pretent to be a know it all MUCH better!
#15 Mar 15, 2014
I am about 99% convinced that they do not care.
One person you are referring to is from one of our good neighbor municipalities. He served some cage time for taking advantage of his court room authority and position.
And, street rumor has it that he is a cohort of the Porkster. I doubt that lightening will strike this person twice.
One Million Dollar$ unreported income in cold cash and an esteemed councilman who owes the IRS over $30,000 and the feds and IRS have done nothing known to the pubic, up to this time. The esteemed councilman may walk on all these counts.
If the authorities coupled Mr. Minkus's AG gambling charges with the Duquesne Police nine traffic violation charges, then why is it that the esteemed councilman's AG gambling charges are not coupled with other Commonwealth and Federal charges? The councilman is an untouchable.
Now you might agree with my opinion why I am 99% sure all law authorities do not care for some reason.
#16 Mar 15, 2014
Wondering, Morris -- when you are at work, what do you done when you are done for the day? Go out into the parking lot and help the maintenance people collect garbage? Or mop the floors where you work? No, you clock out and go home.
Teachers work from 7:00am until 3:00 with your kids. Then they have to grade papers and assignments and prepare and plan for the next day, unlike the factory workers and checkout clerks and baggers who clock out and are done.
Teachers are not crossing guards.
Again, I ask -- why are there no PARENTS volunteering to help out for a half hour a day if this is so easy to do?
Bunch of clowns on here...a third of the people on here are old decrepit retirees and has-been lawyers and the other half are on welfare looking to stir up trouble......only about a third of the people on here are "normal" and we just laugh at you morons always pointing the finger at the easiest targets with no real suggestions or solutions at all.
Likely "MORRIS" is a welfare junkie.....NO IDEA what it is like to work a full day so its easy to say what was said.
Hey MORRIS....if its such an easy thing, volunteer your services for a half hour a day and make a real difference instead of picking on the people who probably raised your welfare rat of a kid.
#17 Mar 15, 2014
If the MASD teachers did a better job educating MORRIS he would not be the failure or lowlife you allege he is. You are deflecting the issue by demeaning Mr. Morris.
Do teachers teach every period (except lunch) between 7:00 am to 3:00 pm? Although, I am a high school drop out, I seem to recall a few study periods each day The teachers could grade papers and assignments during that time.
The lesson plan is not reinvented each term unless for some reason the course book is changed. I may be a high school drop out but I am smart enough not to be fooled by a teacher. How about your 180 work year and generous tax payer subsidized pension?
Why are you laughing at us old decrepit retirees who post on Topix -- YOU SHOULD BE TEACHING MY GRAND CHILDREN AND STAY OFF TOPIX ON THE CLOCK.
#18 Mar 15, 2014
Let them grade papers at home teachers want a free ride today and as a parent and tax payer that pays the overpaid teachers why should I help kids cross the street, I'm only responsible for my child, but a teacher is responsible for their CLASS.. let the teachers volunteer their time grading papers after school since your on the 'volunteer ' wagon. it's a part time job as far as I'm concerned. the teachers leave out the door following the kids out.........they are NOT suppose to do that..........I pay their salary and pension at least they could do is VOLUNTEER their time to help children cross the street. a teacher could have prevented this tragedy........ I thought that was the profession behind a school teacher......CARING FOR KIDS!
WHAT BULLSHIT !
#19 Mar 15, 2014
some teachers stay after school to be look outs while others teachers screw on a tax payer desk........give them a break they are under stress and a fast piece of ass cures all confusion while lookouts snicker behind the door.
#20 Mar 16, 2014
The case you are subtly hinting toward is equally egregious as the inept cover up by a late and former superintendent and a city elected official cohort who he lunched with.
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