Mom wants full traffic signal at Heber City crossing where 14-year-old was hit
Sep 19, 2023, 10:20 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 5:54 am
UPDATE: At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council fast-tracked the intersection project. Officials say if everything goes as planned, the traffic light could be up and running by the end of the year.
HEBER CITY — A mother said Tuesday she wanted to see a full traffic signal installed at the crossing where her 14-year-old son was seriously injured as the city council was preparing for a vote to fast-track the project.
Christine Sara said her son, 14-year-old Noah, was struck Thursday morning while crossing on his bike in a marked and lit crossing at 500 East at 1200 South.
“It’s a flashing light crosswalk — he pressed the button, the lights went off,” Sara told KSL TV. “Everybody else was stopped and one driver just wasn’t paying attention and just went right into him.”
According to Heber City police, the driver of the work van was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian’s right of way in a school crosswalk. Officers said the boy was initially transported to the hospital in critical condition and Sara on Tuesday was attending to her son’s substantial injuries at home.
“He has a broken collarbone, he has a broken pelvis, he has bruised lungs,” Sara said. “He has a fractured skull with air pockets on his brain.”
If the aftermath of the collision wasn’t enough, Sara said it was additionally frustrating to learn that Heber City officials had concerns about the crossing for years but hadn’t yet installed a traffic signal.
“There’s a library, a school, a hospital all right there in that intersection,” Sara said. “That needs to happen.”
KSL learned through an analysis of city records that a traffic signal was discussed back in February 2020 when the city council instead opted for overhead pedestrian lights at the crossing.
In October, the council approved a conversion to a traffic light, but work wasn’t slated to begin until 2024.
Mayor Heidi Franco, in an email correspondence with KSL TV, said she along with two council members had advocated for putting in a signal sooner but the majority of the council wanted it installed next year.
At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the council was expected to consider the approval of a contract for the construction of the signal, which if approved could fast-track the project.
“For some reason that intersection wasn’t made a priority and that definitely is something that I’m very sad about,” Sara said.
Sara said her son faced a very lengthy road to recovery and a GoFundMe* account had been set up to offset medical bills.
“He wants to be a pilot someday,” Sara said. “This could affect the rest of his life and all of his dreams and everything.”
As she awaited the city’s action at the crossing, she urged all drivers to be careful.
“Stop letting the distractions in your car happen and watch the screen that’s in front of you — your windshield. Just watch the road. You could kill somebody.”
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.