Push for pedestrian safety after UCF student hit by truck near campus
Updated On: Feb 26 2014 09:24:25 AM EST
A 19-year-old University of Central Florida student is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after a truck driver hit her early Sunday. Now the accident is bringing attention to what students call a dangerous stretch of Alafaya Trail.
Troopers say Brooke Dawkins, of Orlando, was crossing the road in a crosswalk about 2:30 a.m., but the truck had a green light and she shouldn't have been walking. That truck ended up hitting Dawkins, sending her to the hospital with critical injuries.
Since the accident, students and parents have taken to social media, asking the university and the state to do more to make the stretch of Alafaya Trail near UCF safer.
Many have called for pedestrian bridges, like the one that takes the Cady Way Trail across Semoran Boulevard in Orange County.
Dawkins' sorority sisters tell Local 6 their number one priority is making sure Dawkins gets better, but many support a pedestrian bridge or other efforts to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
"It's a situation no one expected, and it's devastating," said Dawkins' best friend Jessy Grabowski.
She says she would support anything that would prevent what happened to Dawkins.
Local 6 reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation, which says they have a safety project going on in near UCF, but it does not include the intersection where Dawkins was hit. They say they're working to redesign sidewalks and cut down on places where cars can make U-turns.
A spokesman says there is a longer term study being planned for the area including that intersection at Gemini Boulevard and Alafaya Trail, but right now it does not include any recommendations for pedestrian bridges.
To donate to the effort to help pay for Dawkins' medical bills go to: http://brookestrong.bigcartel.com/product/brooke-strong-tank-top