A Langley family’s beloved pet was killed in a hit and run accident, and neighbours are worried about the danger to both dogs and kids in the future.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Liz Khan’s three young boys opened the front door to put on their shoes for the short walk to school.
Their one-and-a-half year old golden retriever, Oscar, ran out the door.
Before they could stop him, he spotted another dog on the far side of 216th Street near their Walnut Grove home.
A few seconds later, Khan said, Oscar had been hit by a speeding dump truck. The driver did not stop, despite a loud thump when he hit the 80 pound dog.
“This was not even a block from the school, and the sidewalk was littered with school kids at the time,” Khan told the Langley Advance.
The Khan family rushed Oscar to an emergency animal hospital, but he died shortly after arrival.
The family reported the incident to police, but because the driver didn’t stop and no one got the plate number, they were told there isn’t much that can be done.
“Oscar was such a fun-loving and quirky dog,” Khan said. “It didn’t take long for him to work his way into our hearts and become my boys’ best friend. He brought our family so much joy in his short life, and we miss him dearly.”
She hopes that something similar won’t happen to another dog, or worse, a child, on the busy street.
Residents along 216th have been raising concerns for some time about safety along the road. With the 216th Street interchange now under construction, there are fears that the traffic situation will only get worse in the future.
Topham Elementary is on 91st Avenue just off 216th, and many students walk from the east side of the road or cross side streets to get there.
“We live in a cul-de-sac across the street from the school, and not only is there no crosswalk before the school, but there’s not even a proper sidewalk to get to the existing crosswalk at 91st Ave safely,” Khan said.
Neighbour Jennifer Engele also has three children who attend Topham, and heard about the hit and run of Oscar.
“It is a nightmare,” she said of conditions on 216th, where she said many drivers speed well above the 50 km/h limit. “It is an accident waiting to happen.”
Engele and Khan would both like to see some changes, including a signalized crosswalk across 216th.
Designating part of 216th Street as a 30 km/h school zone and adding speed bumps to part of the street could also help, Engele said.
“It just seems like the Township is not considering the safety of our students,” she said.
Engele was planning to write to the Township and school board about the issue.
Residents in the area also previously objected to 216th Street north of the interchange being declared a truck route. Earlier this year, the Township council voted to abandon the plan to designate the road a truck route, and signs are expected to be installed encouraging trucks on the Trans Canada Highway to use the 200th Street exit instead.