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Boy hit in lighted crosswalk on South Broadway in Cortez

A boy going to school Wednesday was hit in the crosswalk at South Broadway and Canyon Street. (Jim Mimiaga/The Journal)
Driver in U.S. government vehicle issued three citations; boy suffered injuries

A juvenile in a crosswalk on South Broadway was struck by a U.S. government vehicle Wednesday morning in Cortez.

The 14-year-old boy was injured with bruises and a scraped knee, according to the Cortez Police Department.

A police incident report stated that at 7:35 a.m. the boy pressed the crosswalk button at Broadway and Canyon Drive and when the pedestrian warning lights activated, he began riding his bike across South Broadway to the east.

A southbound truck in the outside lane stopped at the crosswalk as he was crossing, but a southbound silver Ford truck in the inside lane did not stop. The boy ran into the passenger side door of the truck and fell off the bike, according to the report.

He had been heading to class at Cortez Middle School.

The driver and others stopped, and a nearby Cortez Police officer was waved over. The child’s mother was contacted and arrived on the scene.

She declined ambulance service to the hospital, and chose to drive her son to Southwest Memorial Hospital.

The driver of the silver truck, Jonathan Andrew Mathews, was cited on suspicion of careless driving, failing to yield right of way to pedestrian in crosswalk and passing a vehicle stopped at crosswalk for a pedestrian.

Mathews, of Greeley, was driving a U.S. Department of Wildlife vehicle, according to the incident report.

His supervisor told police at the scene that the victim and his family could make a claim against the federal government regarding the incident, according to federal protocols. A contact phone number was made available.

Mathews told police he did not see the activated crosswalk sign, and did not think to stop with the other vehicles, according to the incident report.

When he saw the boy crossing he attempted to swerve out of the way but heard the boy hit his passenger side.

A northbound truck had also stopped at the crosswalk that was flashing the pedestrian warning lights and witnessed the incident.

Assistant Police Chief Andy Brock said police received numerous calls from the public regarding the incident and the hazardous intersection.

Police have discussed the intersection and potential options to improve safety, he said.

Some concerned citizens suggested a stoplight be installed.

Brock said that action would ultimately be up to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the roadway.

He said Cortez Police can only make suggestions to CDOT regarding that stretch of roadway. At this point, they have not recommended a stoplight be installed at that intersection.

In the last two weeks, Cortez Police have ramped up patrols on Main Street to catch speeders, Brock said.

They issued 28 citations in the two-week period. Increased speeding patrols are planned for this week as well.