Death of 13-year-old Prince William County student raising traffic safety concerns

The tragic death of a 13-year-old Prince William County student is raising concerns about traffic safety from parents. 

The student was hit by a car and killed Tuesday while trying to cross the James Madison Highway in Haymarket.  

READ MORE: 13-year-old dies after being hit by car in Prince William County

FOX 5 heard from parents living in the Dominion Valley area who say the intersection has been a constant issue for the community.  

"It’s a multifaceted problem of the fact that they’re crossing in the middle of the dark in the mornings, they’re crossing a busy commuter highway." Mary Elizabeth-Roesch said. "Route 15 doesn't just service our neighborhood, it doesn't just service Gainesville and Haymarket, it is a major thoroughfare for all traffic stretching from North Carolina to Pennsylvania."

Elizabeth-Roesch is also a member of the Coalition for Safe Passage on Route 15, a Facebook group started after a child was killed at the same intersection earlier in the year.  

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Elizabeth-Roesch says the group has been in contact with the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and the Virginia Department of Transportation but says it’ll take additional action at the state level for things to change.  

"I’ve had numerous conversations with my children about the fact you need to make eye contact with drivers that you need to wait until they’re completely stopped if all possible and please don’t try to cross route 15 because it’s just an accident waiting to happen." 

There’s also a push from some residents to build a pedestrian overpass or tunnel in hopes of making the intersection safer, including a petition that has over 2500 signatures. 


VDOT sent this statement in response to the death of the 13-year-old and what measures they will take moving forward to address the safety concerns: 

"We are heartbroken at the news that a child was killed crossing Route 15. Our thoughts are with the family during this very difficult time. Once the police investigation is completed, we will conduct a safety review of the location of the crash. We have already been in contact with county staff and elected officials, and we will continue to work closely with our partners in Prince William County to support local initiatives, projects, and infrastructure to increase pedestrian safety."