Teen hit by car in serious condition while parents ask city to c - KPTV - FOX 12

Teen hit by car in serious condition while parents ask city to change speed limit

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15-year-old Bradley Fortner (Courtesy: Fortner family) 15-year-old Bradley Fortner (Courtesy: Fortner family)

One day after he was hit by a car in North Portland, 15-year-old Bradley Fortner is still in serious condition at Randall Children’s Hospital. 

His parents, Esperanza Trujillo and Eli Wingfield, look exhausted and still in shock. Trujillo says her son’s condition went downhill overnight.

“The bleed on the back of his brain, where communication is, that’s where it’s gotten worse."

The teen was walking to his first day of freshman year at Roosevelt High School Tuesday morning when he started to cross North Columbia Boulevard and got hit by a car near Midway Avenue. The driver stopped and he is cooperating with police.

There is a foot bridge that goes over the busy road at that spot and Fortner should have used it, but Trujillo says none of the neighborhood kids does.

“He doesn’t like to go across it because it shakes. A lot of kids don’t go across it because of the shakiness.”

Fortner got hit right behind George Middle School. In fact, the school’s back fence borders Columbia Boulevard. But the speed limit there is 40 miles per hour with no reduced speed during school hours. That’s what Fortner’s parents don’t understand.

FOX 12 asked city leaders about the speed limit there. Dylan Rivera with the Portland Bureau of Transportation says there is no school zone on that stretch of North Columbia Boulevard because the main entrance to the middle school is on the opposite side of the building, on a side street.

Plus, he says Columbia is a major artery for freight in the Northwest and tens of thousands of vehicles pass through there every day. Officials fear that a new school zone may cause more problems.

“We can put a sign there, we can put flashing lights. It doesn’t mean people will obey the school zone,” said Rivera. “We have a hard time getting people to obey school zones on residential streets.”

Fortner’s father doesn’t think that’s an adequate explanation.

“I don’t think it would kill the city to change that speed zone just for the time kids are in school,” said Wingfield. “It’s not going to affect the businesses to slow down for 100 yards on that fifteen mile stretch of Columbia Boulevard.”

While Fortner’s parents wait to see what their son’s future will look like, they hope city officials don’t wait to make changes until another child gets hit by a car.

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