Chandler High School Crossing

The intersection of Erie Street and Arizona Avenue in Chandler was the scene of the second pedestrian-vehicle accident in a week on Sept. 17, and city officials are trying to determine if anything can be done to protect Chandler High students who cross it.

Chandler High School administrators say car accidents near its campus are relatively rare, even though three students have been injured in two separate collisions in the same week.  

A 15-year-old girl was hit by a motorist Tuesday while walking through the crosswalk at Arizona Avenue and Erie Street. The driver, a 16-year-old Chandler High student, stopped and cooperated with investigators. 

Six days earlier, two other Chandler High students were involved in a similar accident at the same intersection and transported to the hospital. 

Principal Larry Rother said he can only think of a handful times in the last few years when students have been injured at that intersection. 

“Students being hit by a vehicle is pretty rare,” he said. 

Hundreds of Chandler students use the Erie Street crosswalk each day, the principal added, making it the busiest intersection near campus.  

At least 40 auto collisions were reported at intersections surrounding Chandler High between January and September, according to online data published by Chandler Police. Several were listed as not resulting in any injuries.

Among these incidents, the Chandler Boulevard intersection took up the majority with at least 19 reported collisions.

By comparison, the Arizona Avenue and Appleby Road intersection – located near Hamilton High – has seen at least 14 reported traffic collisions so far this year. 

The Chandler Unified School District is limited to what it could do to change Arizona Avenue since it doesn’t have the authority to make road improvements. 

Rother said Chandler High has previously consulted the city on any changes that should be made to the Erie Street intersection. 

“We’ll continue to do that to make sure that intersection is as safe as it can be,” Rother said.

The section of Arizona Avenue that runs adjacent to Chandler High has a speed limit of 35 mph. Two traffic signals are currently located at Chandler Boulevard and Erie Street. 

City spokesman Matthew Burdick said the city was aware of the recent collisions at Chandler High and will assess whether any improvements need to be made.

“Our traffic engineer will review these most recent crashes with the Chandler Police Department to determine if there are any additional traffic engineering measures that could improve pedestrian safety,” Burdick said.

The day before Tuesday’s accident, Chandler Police conducted an enforcement campaign across the city, in an effort to reduce collisions involving pedestrians.

Chandler High is one of 10 local schools to have one of the agency’s police officers on-site to assist with emergencies. 

Rother said his campus’s school resource officer will help facilitate some safety lessons for the school’s automotive classes.

Chandler High will also produce some videos on pedestrian safety and broadcast them as part of the school’s morning announcements, the principal added. 

As for the Chandler students involved in the recent crashes, Rother said they’re recovering well with no more than some bumps and bruises. 

“None of our students have sustained any serious injuries,” he said. “Those accidents could be so much worse.”

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