Cobb OKs improvements to crosswalk where Wheeler teens were hit by car

Cobb County commissioners have given the green-light to make pedestrian crossing improvements in front of Wheeler High School where two teenagers were hit by a car.

The commission at its Tuesday meeting agreed to utilize the services of Excellere Construction, LLC to roll out changes at the Holt Road pedestrian crossing for $22,450.

The county will team up with the Cobb County School Board to 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 will also relocate the crosswalk away from a nearby side street and combine it with another crosswalk north of the current location and close the exit-only driveway from the former East Cobb Middle School parking lot across from the high school near the crosswalk.

According to county documents, the Cobb County School District will purchase two rectangular rapid flashing beacon signs for $9,758.20. Those signs will be delivered to the county for installation. A construction schedule will be finalized by contractors in a meeting set for May 1.

The county received three bids for the project. Excellere was the lowest bidder, followed by Glosson Enterprises at $26,535 and Chatfield Contracting, Inc. for $30,964.

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More improvements could be needed if the school system decides to use the old middle school building as an elementary school in the future, the county added.

The two teenagers, who were students at the school, 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.

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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. 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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