A month after two teenagers walking in a crosswalk in front of Wheeler High School were struck by a car, Cobb County has announced improvements are coming to this stretch of Holt Road.
Cobb County Department of Transportation will work with the Cobb County School District to relocate and better mark the crosswalk in front of the school where the March 9 collision took place.
The county will install a rapid flashing beacon at the crosswalk, raise the median and close an exit from the parking lot near the crosswalk. Plans also call for updated signage warning motorists of pedestrians and more street lighting.
Cobb County said DOT and the school system will work together to pay for the improvements. Estimates for moving the crosswalk, building a median and adding new signs and lighting would be about $55,000, Cavitt said.
Ross Cavitt, the county’s spokesman, said a timeline for the improvements has not been drawn up yet.
“Because it is a cooperative effort, we probably will have to take an intergovernmental agreement before the board (of commissioners),” he said.
The county said it had planned to conduct a pedestrian survey on Holt Road before the accident happened. Cameras and other devices were installed to study pedestrian activity in the area, and the county is still waiting on those results.
More improvements could be needed if the school system decides to use the old East Cobb Middle School building, which is across from Wheeler, as an elementary school in the future, the county added.
The two teenagers were crossing the street on the northbound side of Holt Road around 7 p.m. March 9 when they were hit by a black 2007 Mercedes Benz SLK350 driven by Nancy Valentine, 73, of Marietta.
Valentine was cited for failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and failure to use due regard to avoid pedestrians. While she has not been criminally charged in connection with the crash, Valentine will have to appear in court before a judge.
Wheeler officials said the school was donating old weight room equipment and the teens were moving a weight rack when they were struck.
Both teens were hospitalized for their injuries and one had life-threatening injuries.
The family of one of the teens, 17-year-old Wheeler junior and basketball player Malik Spellman, told Channel 2 Action News that they are unsure if he will be able to attend college.
The teenagers had spent the day at Wheeler helping Malik’s father, Marquis Wright, move weight room equipment before the crash.
“I saw him flipping in the air,” said Wright. “When I got to him, he was completely knocked out. His eyes were glazed over. He looked like he was dead.”
Malik Spellman is recovering, and has to attend physical therapy five days a week. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family pay for Malik’s medical bills. You can consider helping the Wrights by clicking here.
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