A teen hospitalized earlier this week is improving after being struck by a vehicle in Cape Coral.
Anastasiya Fairall, 16, was listed in good condition Friday at Lee Memorial Hospital.
At about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, Anastasiya tried to cross Santa Barbara Boulevard South in the 2300 block when she was hit by a southbound white car, according to the Cape Coral Fire Department.
When firefighters arrived, the teen was unconscious and appeared to have a significant head injury, as indicated by the damage to the car's windshield. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
According to fire officials, visual cues at the scene including the vehicle's location indicate that Anastasiya had been attempting to cross Santa Barbara away from a designated crosswalk.
The accident occurred in front of Cape Coral High School, where the teen is enrolled as a junior.
The Cape Coral Police Department is investigating. The investigation was ongoing Friday.
Florida has seen an average of 500 fatal pedestrian crashes each year over the past eight years, with annual numbers ranging from a high of 530 in 2006 to a low of 467 in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Teenagers are the most at-risk youth for pedestrian injuries.
"Cell phones and other handheld devices are causing teens to be more easily distracted, which is leading to greater risk on the roads," CCFD Capt. Michael Heeder said in a prepared statement.
The fire department offered the following tips to make sure children stay focused and safe:
- If children need to use a cell phone, make sure they stop walking and find a safe area to talk. When using headphones, they should be sure to look up and pay extra attention and remove the headphones when crossing the street.
- Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Most injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than an intersection.
- It is always best to walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic, as far to the left as possible.
- Tell children to look left, right and left again when crossing the street. Teach them to never run or dart out into the street or cross between parked vehicles.
- Remind children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them and to watch out for vehicles that are turning or backing up.