14-year-old student hit by car

Car hits student crossing University Boulevard


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 14-year-old boy running across University Boulevard just north of the Arlington Expressway was struck by a car early Wednesday morning.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and Jacksonville Fire-Rescue responded to the accident on University Boulevard North at Los Santos Way about 6:45 a.m.

Fire-Rescue spokesman Tom Francis said Christopher Patterson, who was on his way to school, was taken to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He was upgraded to serious condition Wednesday afternoon. The driver of the car was uninjured.

JSO Sgt. Donald Washington said Patterson had just left a McDonald's restaurant and darted into the street, crossing four lanes of traffic. He made it almost to the west side of the street before he was struck by the front passenger side of the vehicle.

"At this time it appears that the pedestrian failed to yield to the car that had the green light," Washington said.

While the accident remains under investigation, Washington said it was unlikely the driver would face charges. He said the boy did not wait for the crosswalk signal.

JSO remained at the scene through 9 a.m. gathering evidence and directing traffic through the area.

Many people were seen jaywalking in the area hours after the crash. Tracey Ricks was one of them, even though she said she knows it's dangerous and illegal.

"I look both ways," Ricks said. "Sometimes people be nice and let us across, but I take my time when I go cross this road 'cause traffic be pretty heavy."

Channel 4 safety expert Ken Jefferson said the teen was at fault in this case, even though he's the one hurt.

"You've got school buses, you've got school children walking and riding bicycles, and you've got pedestrians getting on the bus or going to work at the same time," Jefferson said. "And then you've got the impatient person who doesn't want to wait. It's not a winning situation for them."

The city sent crews later Wednesday to check the crosswalk signals.