Girls hit by car in St. Francis applaud changes to dangerous intersection

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Standing at the crosswalk that nearly killed them, a harrowing hike across a four lane divided Highway 47, Kaia Bollmann and Annie LaMotte are thrilled about how far they’ve come -- not just their health but the intersection itself.

Rob Olson: “If this were there in November, would this have happened to you?”
Bollmann: “No.”

The pair were hit on November 20. At the time, the crossing at St. Francis was only guarded by a flashing yellow warning light and no streetlights at all. In December, dozens of parents rallied there demanding changes. MnDOT responded by installing stoplights with streetlights on top.

Annie’s mom Lisa LaMotte says MnDOT has promised them these lights are only temporary and, in two years, they’ll be replaced by either a tunnel or a bridge. For now, just forcing traffic to stop makes a world of difference.

"This should help a lot as long as everybody follows the rules of the road, pedestrians and drivers," said Lisa.

With the stoplights in, Kaia and Annie are now focused on a new mission: Making sure pedestrians also follow the lights. They are encouraging other students not to dodge traffic.

"I saw kids didn’t push the button and there’s kids who’re not doing that," explained Bollmann.

Annie LaMotte adds, "That’s scary especially when we did everything right and we were still hit."