KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) – Police and school district officials in Kaukauna are making steps to improve safety after a 12-year-old boy was hit and killed by a school bus.
It happened last Tuesday at the corner of East Second Street and Crooks Avenue. Investigators announced on Wednesday that Justin A. Johnson had the right-of-way when the school bus hit him, killing him.
Officials are now hoping to prevent a similar tragedy. For the first time since the accident, that same corner now has a crossing guard. The change was noticed by both drivers and parents walking their kids home from school.
“It’s going to be a lot safer I think,” said Shane Pawlowski of Kaukauna. “It’s been way busy with the construction behind the school. Traffic is very heavy, and people aren’t watching much at all for the kids.”
The area is seeing more traffic because construction is being done on the Island Street Bridge. That has limited access to River View Middle School, where Justin Johnson went to school.
“I don’t want to say Justin did anything wrong because he didn’t, but we’ve been monitoring that intersection, and we’re noticing a lot of unsafe behaviors by kids,” said Kaukauna Police Lt. Jamie Graff.
Police say their patrols will continue to concentrate on that intersection. Plus, the traffic light was recently adjusted to allow for a left turn arrow for southbound Crooks Avenue during peak travel periods.
Businesses are helping as well. In a statement to Action 2 News, Expera Specialty Solutions says its employees were deeply affected by the accident and wanted to do the right thing for the children of the community, so they’re adjusting shift hours so workers won’t add to the traffic.
Police say the plan is to have the crossing guard in place both before and after school through Nov. 1. After that, the intersection will be reassessed.