No changes from death of 7 yr old wearing Halloween costume

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 10/30/2013 6:03 pm Published: 10/30/2013 6:02 pm

Thursday will mark one year since a 7-year-old boy was hit and killed on his way to school near Virgin Street and Harvard Avenue. After it happened, neighbors were demanding the city make the area safer.

Elijah Rivers was wearing his dark-colored Halloween costume to school when he fell into the road. The driver couldn't see him until it was too late, but a year later, FOX23 has learned nothing has changed.

"You don't want to see stuff like that. I can picture one of my children down there," said witness Danny Skaggs.

After a year, Skaggs still can't get the memory of seeing Elijah Rivers' body out of his mind. Skaggs lives across the street from Celia Clinton Elementary and says something like this was bound to happen.

"That's a really dark area down there. You cannot see," said Skaggs.

He was one of the neighbors demanding the city put in more streetlights. FOX23 checked with city officials who said the traffic engineering department looked into it but found that Rivers was hit within 20 feet of a light pole, and there's no place to add in any more lights.

Stacy Vierheller moved in months after Rivers was killed and says more lights really aren't needed.

"I've walked to the store down here at night. It's [an] extremely well lit-up street in my opinion," said Vierheller.
He thinks the city has done all it can to keep kids safe.

"Not only lighted…traffic-light crossing that can be activated with a button that stops traffic, but there's also a school crossing guard," said Vierheller. "About the only thing you can do is put a school zone the entire length down there for the kids walking back and forth to school."

FOX23 found city traffic engineers also looked into that idea and found the current school zone was large enough. Knowing it wasn't the driver's fault when Rivers was killed, he says there's only one other thing to do as kids head out in their costumes this Halloween.

"Tell the kids stay away from the traffic, you know. When you're walking down the sidewalk, walk away from the curb," said Vierheller.

Tulsa police recommend having children carry a flashlight and putting reflective tape on their costumes to make them easier to see while trick-or-treating Thursday night.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

firemike922 - 11/1/2013 5:33 AM
2 Votes
It's easy to point fingers, greywolf, especially when you have no involvement at all in what happened. I guess we all can't afford the types of headlights that you have where it lights up a whole city block. I do, however, agree with Mayor: parents must accompany their kids when crossing the road, especially at 7 years old.

Mayor Maynot - 10/31/2013 12:23 PM
1 Vote
Here's a novel concept: Having a responsible parent present with a toddler would be a REAL help.

keker - 10/30/2013 9:34 PM
0 Votes
All info was given an nobodies tootin their own horn its just I hate it when the news reports incorrectly or fibra a partial of a story I dont Think they care flat out care about an issue of lighting cross guards etc

kindagreywolf - 10/30/2013 8:43 PM
0 Votes
1st. Oklahoma needs to start ticketing people who hit pedestrians. You get in more trouble killing a dog than a person. 2nd. Enough lights? No room? Go to the outskirts of downtown Tulsa. They put street lights in front of walk signals. The town is either lit up like Nuclear Japan or darker than Obamas heart. 3rd. Even if it is "To Dark" make the idiots learn how to use there HEAD LIGHTS.

karlschneider - 10/30/2013 7:14 PM
1 Vote
keker should have given his special knowledge to the investigators instead of waiting a year to toot his own horn. The thing is, stuff happens and it is sad when it happens to a kid but we have no control over random events.

keker - 10/30/2013 6:57 PM
1 Vote
First of all he did not have on a dark costume and it was reflective on top of that dnt want to go into to much detail but the driver was not paying attention
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