8th grader stuck by car while riding bike to school

An 8th grader in West Irondequoit has been hit by car at Titus and Gardham (WHAM photo)

Irondequoit, N.Y. -- For the second time in a year, an Irondequoit teen has been struck by a car on the way to school. This time, neighbors say a traffic light put in the area specifically to create safer roads near the school, could be to blame.

Some neighbors say the lights at the intersection of Titus Avenue and Gardham Road malfunctioned for 24 hours, blinking red and yellow instead of operating normally.

Tuesday morning just before 8 a.m., a 13-year-old eighth grader at Dake Junior High was struck, trying to cross the road at that intersection on his bike.

"The past 24 hours, that light at the intersection of Gardham and Titus has been flashing yellow," Tracy Wood said. "And it shouldn't be. It usually turns red."

The scene left the town reliving an eerily similar day eight months ago when 9th grade Irondequoit High School student, Michael Lynch was struck by a car while he walked to school. Lynch, later died from his injuries.

Jeff Crane, the Superintendent of Irondequoit Schools says it doesn't take much to "go back" to that day.

"It's the second time we've had a student hurt in eight months, and when any one of our students hurt, we all hurt," Crane said.

School speed zones, road markings and increased signage were added after Lynch's death in an effort to make the roads a safer place for all. Crane says they're working, and people are more aware.

"We just have to be constantly present in what we're doing," Crane continued.

Police say the eighth grader was wearing a helmet at the time, protecting himself from more life-threatening injuries. The superintendent said he was relieved to visit an awake and alert young man.

"The visit to Strong was reassuring for me and I hope to reassure others with it," Crane added. "He's a strong young man with some karate in his background. I believe things are looking as good as can be expected right now."

No word yet from police on whether or not the driver will be ticketed.

The traffic signals are county owned. A spokesperson for the county released the following statement:

Around 7:30 last night an abnormality occurred on the traffic signal at Titus Avenue and Gardham Road in Irondequoit. The signal immediately switched to back-up “recall mode” to ensure the safe navigation of the intersection, with flashing yellows for east and westbound traffic on Titus and flashing reds for southbound traffic on Gardham. No complaints were made to the Monroe County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and MCDOT was not aware the light was in “recall mode” until being notified by the Town of Irondequoit after the accident this morning. MCDOT then immediately dispatched a crew and the signal was returned to normal function in short order. Monroe County is unaware of the specific accident details and therefore cannot comment on the cause. We wish the young man involved a quick and full recovery.

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