Three teens were injured after being struck by a driver while they tried to cross Montroyal Boulevard Tuesday.
The boys, all Grade 8 students at Handsworth Secondary, were on their way to school when the incident happened around 8 a.m.
According to North Vancouver RCMP, the boys had used a wooded trail along McKay Creek when they emerged out onto Montroyal between Mapleridge Drive and Cliffridge Avenue.
“The boys darted out and all three were struck,” said Cpl. Richard De Jong, North Vancouver RCMP spokesman.
One of the victims was treated at the scene. The other two were taken to Lions Gate Hospital for scrapes and bruises and released later on Tuesday, according to De Jong.
“They’re just fortunate it wasn’t more serious,” he said.
Speed and distracted driving are not factors, De Jong said, and investigators are not looking at any charges for the driver.
It would have been safer for the teens to use the nearest crosswalk, De Jong added. “Drivers will expect them there. As we saw in this incident, people can cross anywhere but it’s safer to do it at a crosswalk,” he said.
There is a marked crosswalk about 40 metres to the west of where the collision happened but there is no sidewalk on the north side of Montroyal connecting the trailhead to the crosswalk.
Parents of boys, however dispute the RCMP’s account of the events. According to two of the fathers, only two of the teens were struck – not three.
They were in the crosswalk, not mid-block as the RCMP suggest and they only began to run after it was clear the driver of the eastbound SUV wasn’t slowing down to stop.
The Handsworth and Montroyal Elementary PACs lobbied the District of North Vancouver to install the crosswalk, but it makes “zero sense” to have it on the west side of Cliffridge, said Janet Carswell, who has chaired both PACs.
“It’s just mayhem,” she said. “It’s a crossing place that every parent at Montroyal worries about.”