SALT LAKE CITY — A kindergarten student at Rose Park Elementary is recovering after she was hit by a car while in a crosswalk outside the school last month.
Jazmin Ramirez spent three days in the hospital after suffering internal bleeding and several broken bones.
“I run and the car go to me fast,” Jazmin described. “My hand broke.”
The little girl is still wearing a cast on her arm and her shoulder is in a sling.
The accident has been traumatic for several others including her 10-year-old brother.
“When I turned around, she went flying all the way over there,” Jose Ramirez said. “My heart was beating so fast. I thought she was going to die.”
Another parent with a child attending that school was standing on the street and witnessed the impact.
“The last thing I saw was her little pink shoes just disappearing under the car,” Dani Schaefer said.
The accident is a harsh reminder that even though the intersection isn’t very large, it still presents dangers for pedestrians.
“It just doesn’t have enough usage to warrant a crossing guard,” said school principal Nicole O’Brien when describing why the city doesn’t have a guard assigned to that corner.
A spokesperson for Salt Lake City said they are actively looking to hire more guards, but they are assigned to intersections that see the most traffic.
O’Brien often witnesses drivers speeding near the school.
“Even going 20-miles-per-hour, to me, is a little bit fast,” O’Brien said.
Schaefer agreed – reckless drivers put the safety of students at risk.
“Everybody is in a hurry nowadays,” Schaefer said. “They don’t slow down.”
Jazmin’s mother was forced to miss 15 days of work to care for her daughter. The unexpected loss of wages has taken a financial toll on the family.
“My children depend on me as a single mom,” Diana Ramirez said through an interpreter. “By me missing work, we have struggled with trying to pay financially.
Her biggest concern though is the safety of her children and everyone else attending the school. She doesn’t want others to experience the terror of having a young child hit by a vehicle. She hopes drivers start to pay more attention to their surroundings.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through the situation we went through,” Diana Ramirez said through an interpreter.
Jazmin is back in school and undergoing physical therapy.
The driver was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian.
Rose Park Elementary has set up a GoFundMe account to help Jazmin’s family overcome the financial burden this accident has caused.