Business owner pushes for change after 5-year-old boy hit by car in Norfolk

Posted at 12:29 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 18:20:03-05

NORFOLK, Va. - A 5-year-old boy was hit by a car on Sunday afternoon on Tidewater Drive and the driver of the car took off, police said.

The child was taken to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Michael Merritt, who owns Siren Skate Shop, is pushing for changes to the roadway, calling for a stop light to be added near the entrance to Northside Park and for more crosswalks to be added to the road.

Merritt posted about the incident on his Facebook page, generating a lot of responses from the community.

"This was an inevitable tragedy and it could be easily prevented by a safe crossing for pedestrians," Merritt told News 3 in an interview Monday.

"Any pedestrians have to risk their lives just trying to get to one of the most beautiful parks in Norfolk," said Merritt.

Merritt plans to take his ideas and speak at Tuesday's city council meeting.

"Walking is a great way to get around. For people to be able to use their neighborhood park that's a block from their home - they should not have to endanger themselves crossing such a busy road like Tidewater Drive," said Merritt.

City council members Andria McClellan and Tommy Smigiel responded to Merritt's Facebook post. Smigiel said he supports installing a traffic light at the entrance to the park, saying it could potentially be funded through the just passed infrastructure bill or from money from the American Rescue Plan.

Norfolk Police ask anyone with information about the incident involving the child to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).

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