Paly student hit by car on route to school

Kate Marinkovich, Author

A Palo Alto High School student was hit by a car around 8:15 a.m. on route to campus this morning at the intersection of Churchill Avenue and Castilleja Avenue. According to an email sent out after the incident by Dean of Students Craig Tuana to Paly faculty, the student, whose injuries were not serious, was taken to the hospital by her parents as a precaution.

The intersection of Churchill Avenue and Castilleja Avenue during hours while students are in class. Photo by Kate Marinkovich.
The intersection of Churchill Avenue and Castilleja Avenue is known for its lack of traffic lights and stop signs. Photo by Kate Marinkovich.

Freshman Steven Marinkovich was at the intersection at the time of the incident. “I got out of my car with my sister and I heard a car hit something,” Marinkovich said. “I turned around and saw the girl fall onto the ground and saw her laying there for awhile.” Freshman Louie Marzano also saw the incident while he was biking to school. “I … saw a bunch of cars lined up on Churchill and a girl lying on the ground,”  Marzano said. “[There was] a lot of commotion, people on the phone. The girl was crying – she had her hand on her head.” The intersection is recognized as an unsafe area for students and other commuters during busy hours, according to Marinkovich. “I felt bad for her but wasn’t surprised somebody eventually got hit in that intersection,” Marinkovich said. In 2010, traffic lights were added to the Embarcadero Road crosswalk, a similar location for Paly parking traffic that provides access to Paly from three directions. Some students feel as though a traffic light system should be added to the Churchill Avenue and Castilleja Avenue crossing as well. “A traffic light system should be added because if the pedestrians know that it’s their right of way, then they will be more confident in crossing,” junior Savannah Feriante said. “Drivers will be sure of the pedestrian actions because they will be following light signals rather than intuition.”