Roseville community calls for safer crosswalks after student critically hurt in crash

Posted at 9:36 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 21:36:53-04

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Roseville family and the community are calling for change. They want more safety precautions in place at a pedestrian crossing where Julia Grace Wallace, 12, was hit while walking to school.

The crash happened Tuesday morning on Martin Road outside of Roseville Middle School. Police say the crash remains under investigation.

“It’s just been so touching that so many are praying for her and are with her and are trying to give her that strength to come back to us," Julianne Deblauwe, Julia's aunt told 7 Action News.

Balloons decorate both sides of the crosswalk where the incident occurred. Roseville police say the driver who hit Julia has been cooperative and that witnesses don’t believe he was speeding.

Regardless, Deblauwe said her niece is in the hospital with a severe traumatic brain injury in critical condition. She started a GoFundMe page for community help with related expenses.

Deblauwe told 7 Action News the pedestrian walkway outside the school simply isn’t safe.

“They need to get something there. It’s just too imperative and too dangerous right now to not have a four-way stop or something there, a crossing guard," Deblauwe said. "We’ve had so many parents that have already volunteered to be a crossing guard until this can get handled."

Parent Sheila Devellas put on a new orange vest as she volunteered to help kids cross as they let out of school.

“I saw what happened, and I would never want another child to get hit by a car. I’m really surprised that a place like this doesn’t have a crossing guard,” Devellas said.

Deblauwe shared message for drivers:

"You have to pay attention. Put your phone down. Pay attention to the speed limit (and) to people in front of you," she said.

The city’s deputy chief told 7 Action News police are meeting next week with city engineers, the department of public works, and the city manager to look at how they can enhance pedestrian safety near all schools.

He said they’ll be looking at what other cities are doing, what devices are being used, and he believes funding has already been secured to make those upgrades.