McKEESPORT, Pa. - A walk was held on Friday night for a McKeesport girl killed in a dump truck accident.
Linking arms and holding candles, more than 100 people walked to the spot where Alyson Higdon, 14, took her last step Thursday.
The eighth-grader was hit while following a group of students across Eden Park Boulevard.
Witnesses said the girl was not in a designated crosswalk, and police believe a school bus may have prevented her from seeing the truck.
“Traffic had been stopped for a red signal, and from what we're learning through independent witnesses, she may have crossed as the signal was changing and traffic was starting to move,” said Detective Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County Police Department.
Investigators said school had just let out and busloads of children may have witnessed the horrific accident.
Authorities said Higdon was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after the 3 p.m. accident. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said she died shortly before 8:30 p.m.
The accident remains under investigation, and officials said the truck driver has cooperated with authorities.
Alyson was a student at Founders Hall Middle School in McKeesport. McKeesport Area School District spokeswoman Kristen Davis said administrators went to the hospital with friends and family of the eighth-grader.
She said counseling was made available Friday for students.
“I got a bear, and it says, ‘Somebody in McKeesport loves you,’” Alyson’s friend Autumn Snyder said. “I also wrote her a note that said I hope she rests in peace with her dad.”
Snyder said she’s known Higdon for years, and she sat next to her in many of their eighth-grade classes.
“I have to see her empty seat because she’s not there anymore,” Snyder said.
In light of the tragic accident, some parents are calling for changes to the area near the school.
“As you can see, we have no crosswalk and lines aren’t painted. It should be highlighted. It’s a major school,” parent Ronald Snyder said.
Davis said it’s something the school will look into.
“We do have staff, all of our administrators at the middle school, that come outside in different locations. And of course we will watch this area more vigilantly than before,” Davis said.
Donations for the family can be sent to:
Alyson Higdon Memorial Fund
First Commonwealth Bank
1527 Lincoln Way
White Oak, PA 15131