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Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

Mead High School’s Student News

The Mav

13-year-old Liam Stewart was hit and killed in Littleton, Colorado

Raising awareness surrounding the dangers of being a pedestrian, and what Littleton will do regarding this tragic calamity
Josh Stewart
Liam pictured next to the bike he’d bought with his allowance

Liam Stewart, a seventh grader at Euclid Middle School, was hit and killed while biking to school just after eight a.m. on Oct. 17.

Like any other day, Stewart was riding his bike to school. Many Americans rely on biking or walking as their main mode of transportation, but data shows it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reported that 133 pedestrians were killed in 2023 alone due to motor vehicle crashes, which was a 16 percent increase from 2022. Of those 133 pedestrians, 20 bicyclists were killed, making that a 33 percent increase from 2022.

Those pedestrians were merely going about their day when they were hit, just like 13-year-old Liam.

Nationwide, nearly 7,500 pedestrians were struck and killed by motor vehicles in 2023.

Pedestrian safety has always been important, but as mortality rates continue to rise, it is critical that education on how to stay safe as a pedestrian becomes widely advertised.

NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, outlines important things to do both as a vehicle operator and pedestrian.

As a driver, it’s crucial to be very aware of your surroundings, use extra caution when driving in areas with low visibility, slow down at crosswalks, even if you don’t think you see anyone, never drive under the influence, and always follow speed limits.

If you are walking or biking, always obey road signs and signals, cross streets at intersections and crosswalks, make yourself visible (with reflective clothing and well-lit areas), and walk on the sidewalk if available, but if not, stay as far from the road as possible.

Stewart followed every single one of these rules and was still struck, which highlights the importance of being a safe driver.

In a Littleton City Council meeting on Dec. 5, 2023, Josh Stewart, Liam Stewart ’s father, pleads for the council to imagine his son instead of “an adult in spandex with clip-in shoes on an 8,000 dollar bike.”

Josh explained that pedestrians are generally thought of as able-bodied adults, but that is often not the case.

Maria Mandt, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor who delivered CPR to Stewart for eight minutes before EMS arrived, elucidated that “the anatomy of a pediatric patient is different. Kids’ vital organs have less protection,”  which indicates that children are at a higher risk of death when involved in motor vehicle accidents.

The Littleton public is pushing for safer roads.

Among others, Mandt said that “slowing traffic down through slower speed limits, intelligent road designs and barriers, and narrowed streets has been shown to reduce mortality rates.”

Littleton is planning to enforce changes on the roads to make them safer for pedestrians and more efficient for drivers.

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Liam Stewart.

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Alice Stewart
Alice Stewart, Writer
Alice Stewart is a Junior. She enjoys drumline/Marching Band, skating, and moshing. She is involved with the Mav Marching Band, and volunteers at St. Anthony North Health Campus. She is looking forward to writing lots of true crime articles this year.
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