TAMPA - One Bay area mother says she's enrolling her daughter in an early care program at Liberty Middle School all to avoid one dangerous spot that nearly took her daughter’s life.
Student Leilani Bell would cross the Tampa Palms Blvd. and Commerce Park intersection in Tampa to get to school. Her mother Lee Buchanan says that intersection almost turned deadly Thursday.
"She was like, ‘Mommy I don't want to walk anymore, this is the second day in a row that I almost got hit by a car,’" Buchanan said.
"Their light was red, and I had the little white man that tells you to walk across. As I was walking a man decided not to stop, and almost hit me with his car," Bell said.
"I could tell in her voice that she was upset. She was like I want you to put me in before care I don't care if I have to get up earlier," Buchanan said.
Still having fresh thoughts of an incident just 9 days ago where a student was struck in Hillsborough County Lee picked up the phone and called Liberty Middle School to speak with the principal.
"We talked to TPD as well as the Hillsborough County School Board, and they tell us they haven't had any complaints at this intersection before. They take their complaints very seriously. That's why TPD stepped up their enforcement," said school resource officer Ted Delaney.
"I immediately called the road supervisor, and he was able to get some units out there to check out the intersection in the morning."
And there was an increased enforcement presence Friday morning. Several Tampa Police patrol cars in the area performing traffic stops.
"Drivers have to be aware that the kids are coming to school, and the kids also have to be mindful of the vehicles," Delaney said.
As far as providing crossing guards at the intersection, the school board says that they do not provide crossing guards for middle or high school students, only elementary.
As for Leilani, her mother says she won't be walking to school anymore. She has enrolled her in before school care, and will be giving her a ride to school.
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