Parent of child who was injured by moving vehicle calls for traffic signs in the neighborhood

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 9:57 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A Louisiana mother’s worst nightmare becomes a reality after her child is hit by a vehicle while playing outside.

Courtney Rollins’ 13-year-old son is recovering comfortably at home after suffering several injuries from an accident that could have been far worse. Her sons and other neighborhood children were riding scooters in a residential neighborhood behind LaGrange High School when her oldest child was struck by a moving car.

Rollins says her heart sunk as she prepared herself for the worst.

“It is immediately where my mind went. I started panicking and crying and all kind of emotions hit me at one time,” Rollins said.

Miraculously, her son survived the accident but with serious injuries.

“Blood was coming from his mouth. Blood was all over his face, and his arm was like a limp noodle,” Rollins said. “His knees were bloody. His clothes were bloody, and it was just like blood everywhere.”

The family speculates the driver who hit her child was distracted.

Lake Charles Chief of Police Shawn Caldwell stresses the importance of awareness and safety for both pedestrians and drivers.

Absolutely, please stay of the phone,” Caldwell said. “Driving is a skill that requires attention, and you should put your attention into the driving and not your phone, please.”

Rollins says she is just a concerned citizen who is advocating for the children.

“I think this should be taken seriously,” Rollins said. “Let these children enjoy their front yards or backyards, but still put these signs out. Take it into consideration. That way no parent has to bury their child.”

After many failed attempts to bring signage to the neighborhood, officials say, children at play signs should arrive by this week. Locals who are concerned about safety in their area, can request signage by contacting the city.

Information on how to request signage, per the city:

1. How do I request a sign?

(a.) Stop and yield signs: Requesting a stop and/or yield sign at a new location requires City Council action to pass an ordinance. Contact the city councilperson for the area in question and make the request to them. You can call the Clerk of Council at (337) 491-1290 to find out the name and contact number for the area in question or give the information to the clerk.

(b.) Speed limit signs: Speed limit signs requests can be made directly to Public Works and require no council action, unless the request is to change the speed limit. In this case the procedure is the same as for stop and yield signs.

(c.) No parking signs: These also require City Council action unless it is to repair or replace an existing sign. Any questions, such as if parking is allowed at a particular location, may be directed to Public Works.

(d.) Other signs: All other sign requests, such as Watch for Children, School Signs, Pedestrian Signs, Side/Road Markers and Street Markers may be directed to Public Works.

2. How to report a missing or damaged sign?

Whenever you notice a damaged or missing sign, it can be reported to the City Police or directly to Public Works.

3. Why do we install various signs?

Stop signs: The stop sign causes a substantial inconvenience to motorists. It should be used only where warranted. A stop sign may be warranted at an intersection where one or more of the following conditions exist:

1. Intersection of a less important road with a main road where application of the normal right-of-way rule is unduly hazardous.

2. Streets entering a through highway or street.

3. Un-signalized intersection in a signalized area.

4. Other intersections where a combination of high speed, restricted view and serious accident record indicates a need for control by the stop sign.

Prior to the use of stop signs, less restrictive measures such as yield signs, where a full stop is not necessary at all times, would be recommended.

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