METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - Family members said a 14-year-old boy struck by a car in Jefferson Parish Monday evening remains on life support at University Medical Center in New Orleans.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office said the boy, whom family members identified as Ryan Marchand, was skateboarding across a crosswalk when the car hit him, throwing him into a drainage canal near the intersection of West Metairie Road and N. Starrett Road.
"Somebody saw it happen and they stopped and pulled him out [of the canal] and they started doing CPR," neighbor Jane Margavio said. "The lady come running up. I guess it was his mother, and she was screaming, 'That's my baby, that's my baby'. We were all kind of standing around praying with them."
The 29-year-old driver was still on the scene when FOX 8 arrived Monday night, but she declined to talk. She was not cited for the accident.
She told investigators that she did not see Ryan and only heard a noise at the time of the collision. She said she stopped to see what happened and saw that he was severely injured.
"The grandfather was really upset," Margavio said. "Whoever he was talking [on the phone] to he was telling them, he said, 'You know it's Ryan, come, come. It's Ryan. We are in front of the church.'"
"I don't think it's unsafe. I think you need to pay attention," Jefferson Parish resident Jarold Clopton said. "I think it might have just been unfortunate. Maybe the sun was in the person's eyes, but I drive up and down this street every day. I know in the morning and in the afternoon you do have to go extra slower because they do have kids. You do see a lot of teenagers go across West Metairie because they like to go to Mike Miley or Delta [playgrounds]."
Louisiana Law is specific when it comes to mid-block crosswalks like the one on West Metairie. It states that when traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle must stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk. But the law also states no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.
The crash happened around 6:50 p.m. Monday around the same time the sun sets in the west, which is the same direction the car was traveling. Also, a sign for a local event is posted on the side of the bridge crossing the canal, possibly impeding the view for the driver and the pedestrian using the crosswalk.
"I honestly feel like pedestrians should have the right-of-way in a lot of the situations, but I don't know the circumstances. I just hope the boy can make it through," Clopton said.
Marchand is a student at T.H. Harris Middle School.