- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2007

A 6-year-old boy died yesterday morning after being struck by a car in Northeast while crossing the street to get on a school bus.

The boy’s death marked the third time in a week a pedestrian was killed in the District, authorities said.

J’lin Tyler, a student at Bunker Hill Elementary School on Michigan Avenue in Northeast, was struck at about 8 a.m. in the intersection of Sargent Road and Emerson Street NE.

The boy was walking with about six or seven other children and an adult to a bus stop about a block from his home, according to police and a school official.

Shortly after the bus arrived, J’lin darted away from the group and into the street, where he was hit by a Jeep Cherokee. Police said the vehicle was driven by Beverly Ellis, 54, of Takoma Park. The boy was taken to Children’s National Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at about 8:40 a.m.

No charges had been filed last night against the driver of the car, but a police investigation was continuing.

Four-way stop signs govern the intersection where the accident occurred. The intersection is in a residential neighborhood of mostly row houses and single-family homes.

Patricia Hallman, who lives in the area, called the intersection dangerous and said she avoids it because drivers frequently ignore the stop signs.

“They don’t pay any attention to it,” she said. “They need to put a light there.”

Bunker Hill Elementary continued to hold classes as usual. Grief counselors talked to children throughout the day, and more counselors will be at the school Monday, said Reginald Ballard Jr., Region 5 school superintendent.

“Those kids that were in his class and in his age group seem to be taking it the hardest,” Mr. Ballard said.

It was the third pedestrian fatality in the District in a week, and the fourth so far this year.

On Wednesday, a man died after being struck by a cement mixer on New York Avenue NW. Police said the man was trying to direct traffic around a tractor-trailer that was backing up because it was too tall to fit through the Third Street tunnel.

On Feb. 3, a 58-year-old man died after he collided with a man on a bicycle while crossing New Hampshire Avenue NW, according to police.

In mid-January, authorities said a Metro bus struck and killed a woman crossing Park Road NW.

Metropolitan Police, who keep statistics on traffic fatalities, were unable to provide recent statistics on pedestrian fatalities.

Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, said pedestrian deaths have been on the rise in recent years, climbing from 10 in 2004 to 17 last year by his unofficial count.

Mr. Lynch blamed the increases on more people having to cross streets designed for heavy, fast-moving traffic, as well as a lack of education about pedestrian safety.

“It’s a fast-growing city,” he said. “A lot more pedestrians are coming into a lot more commuter thoroughfare streets, and the city was slow to respond to that.”

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty last night expressed his condolences to J’lin’s family and said that pedestrian safety would be a top priority for his administration.

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