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Residents want lower speed limit, extended school zones after teen injured in hit-and-run near Norfolk high school

Police said the 16-year-old girl was crossing the street on her way to class at Booker T. Washington High School when a driver hit her and took off.

NORFOLK, Va. — As Norfolk police searched for the person responsible for a hit-and-run that injured a 16-year-old girl, people who live and work in the area where it happened said more needs to be done to make streets safer for pedestrians.  

They said Booker T. Washington High School sits at a dangerous intersection. 

“People want to run the red light and everyone just wants to speed up and down... I’m trying to figure out what’s the purpose and the reason for it,” Robert Hollowell said. 

Norfolk police said a driver hit the teen and then kept going, leaving her injured in the street. The girl was crossing Park Avenue, near Virginia Beach Boulevard, on her way to class at the high school. It happened around 7 o'clock Monday morning. 

There are lower speed limits in place surrounding the school but there's no flashing light on Park Avenue, and some people said that's a problem.

“There should be a light here -- at least a yellow light -- indicating that it’s a school zone in this area," Timothy Parker said.

Hollowell said something similar.

“They need to extend it (the school zone). They need to," Hollowell said. "I went to Booker T., myself, but the school wasn’t right here then. The school was a little further back, and it wasn’t as bad back then as it is now.”  

Although police have not said if speed played a role in what happened, a lot of people said speeding remains a big problem in the area. 

"I think they should lower the speed limit not just here but a lot of places,” Hollowell said.

A few have seen drivers run red lights.

"A lot of guys are trying to catch the light before it changes and that's a big problem out here, too," Parker said.

Some people also called for a possible crossing guard at the intersection for students because of the heavy traffic.

Norfolk police said the teen was in the hospital with critical injuries. Police have not provided a description of the car or the driver who sped off.

If you know anything that can help, you’re asked to call the crime line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. You can stay anonymous.

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