ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Odessa Police responded to a pedestrian-vehicle accident this morning in front of Elisha Pease Elementary when police said a six-year-old student was hit by car while in the crosswalk.

The family of the victim said their child is okay, but now, many in the community just want people to be more careful and hope this can bring more awareness to slow down and pay attention, especially in school zones

Ector County Independent School District said there’s only so much they can do themselves to help, and just hope everyone pays more attention.

Some said they are outraged by this moment and feel the safety of their children is at risk.

Shawn Carrasco, the founder of DGK in Odessa, is a local advocate for children in the surrounding counties. He said, if we don’t take care of our children, that is what will affect our future the most.

“Let’s all be mindful and aware of the most precious resource that we have in our communities, is our children,” he emphasized. “Please, put the phones down. Slow down! If a bus is unloading, stop!

He continued, “There’s nothing more precious than our children, and for each and every one of us to show the same regard for others’ children as you want shown for yourself, but thankfully this child was not severely injured but hopefully this brings awareness. As a whole not just this community, but Odessa and Midland and the surrounding communities. We have to slow down and you know, just pay attention.”

Michael Adkins with ECISD said as much as they try to make school zones safer, it’s important for drivers and pedestrians to make sure to always be aware of their surroundings.

“We have be kind of anticipating that something like that could be happening, so we just ask everybody to be aware, slow down, take their time, and really be cautious going through those school zones, in the morning and then after school because there’s a lot of people in a really small area,” stressed Adkins.

He said while the district has it’s own police department that is working to prevent a situation such as this one, they do have a staffing shortage that doesn’t allow for every school in the district to be monitored during drop off and pick up hours each day.

“We are just unable to have an officer at every single campus location throughout Odessa and Ector County in those high volume times, but we do patrol as we’re able to and try to be as many places at once,” he shrugged. “So, we do rely on our own staff, our crossing guards, parents, and just community members in general, to know, it’s very busy, there’s a lot of little kids, there’s a lot of families, there’s cars, there’s buses, there’s children walking, and we just need to be really careful.”

The district also said they have crosswalks, cones and flashers set up at every school, so Adkins said it’s up to the public now to make sure they follow the rules in a school zone.

We’re still waiting to hear back from OPD if the driver will be charged following this accident, as the student was in a crosswalk. We will update the story as it develops.