WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — All it took was a few seconds for Kati Pilant’s worst nightmare to come true.
The mother of four was watching two of her kids walk towards her car after school on Wednesday when she looked away for a moment to tend to one of her other kids. That’s when her 5-year-old daughter was hit by a car.
The girl suffered a broken thigh and a fractured tibia. Less than a day after the incident, the girl got back on her feet. Her mother says she’s expected to make a full recovery within the next four to six weeks.
However, her mother also says this was an accident quite literally waiting to happen.
“There had been cars all up and down that street on both sides, so you can literally get one vehicle in one way, and then someone has to pull over, and the next one will go,” Pilant said.
It’s a traffic nightmare Pilant says she and several other parents with kids at William Allen White Elementary School, 5148 S. Kansas, deal with on a daily basis.
“They should have at least some type of flow, going instead of just this way, this way, this way, this way,” Pilant said.
Pilant says a lack of controlled crosswalks and crossing guards are also part of the problem—a sentiment echoed by other concerned parents.
“I do have kids that will sometimes jump out and try to cross the street,” parent Ryan Mounts said.
“You see kids starting out in front of cars driving down 51st—you see kids darting everywhere, even in the pickup lane,” parent Mellen Quade said.
A spokesperson for the City of Wichita says the city does not have any record of requests for sidewalk or safety improvements in that area. However, Pilant says she is in talks with White Elementary School’s principal.
“She has tried to get crosswalks in place, and the only thing they have done is put a stop sign at one corner,” Pilant said.
Pilant says at least six other concerned parents from area schools have reached out to her. She says they plan on meeting soon to discuss long-term solutions.
“If we can prevent it from happening again, or even happening at all, then we’re going to speak out, we’re going to help,” Pilant said.