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Two pedestrians in crosswalk struck by car near school in Detroit Lakes

The report states Martell said she didn’t see the two people in the crosswalk. The accident did happen at a four-way stop, however, and witnesses at the scene told police they didn’t see the car stop. Brainerddispatch.com Illustration

DETROIT LAKES – A 13-year-old girl and a 55-year-old woman here were injured when witnesses say a vehicle ran a stop sign and struck them as they made their way across a crosswalk near Rossman Elementary School on Friday, April 23.

The accident happened around 7:15 p.m. at the four-way-stop intersection of Rossman Ave. and Willow Street. According to police reports, Amy Raboin, 55, of Detroit Lakes, who was on foot, and the 13-year-old Detroit Lakes girl, who was on a bike, were both struck by a car driven by Brenda Martell, 55, of Detroit Lakes.

The report states Martell said she didn’t see the two people in the crosswalk. The accident did happen at a four-way stop, however, and witnesses at the scene told police they didn’t see the car stop.

Nearby neighbor Nancy Young was sitting at her dining room table with a window that looks out over the accident scene.

“I didn’t see it, but I heard a noise, so I ran out there, and there was a girl lying in the middle of the intersection unconscious,” said Young, who tried to call 9-1-1 but says it wouldn’t go through. “Probably because somebody else was calling about it,” she said.

Young says Raboin was able to walk around but was bleeding from behind the ear and appeared rattled, as did Martell.

“She was just like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry…’” said Young, who says when the teenage girl came around approximately five minutes later, they all tried to keep her from moving in case there were serious injuries they couldn’t’ see.

Police say no alcohol was involved.

The teenager, 13-year-old Lily Gilbertson, is a down syndrome student and Special Olympic athlete who was with Raboin, her former teacher. Raboin was in front of Lily in the crosswalk, and although she didn’t see the moment the car came through the crosswalk, she did talk to a witness who saw everything.

“The car hit her - she took the brunt of it,” said Raboin, who says Lily flew up over the car and hit the windshield. Raboin was also hit, but it was Lily she was concerned with.

Although both were transported to Essentia Health St. Mary’s, Lily was then brought to a Fargo hospital as a precaution.

“She’s doing okay - she went to school for a while yesterday,” said Lily’s mother, Shelley Gilbertson, who says her daughter did have some bleeding on the brain and a concussion, but aside from some scrapes and bruises, seems to be recovering fine.

“Kids are a lot more resiliant than adults I think, both mentally and physically,” said Gilbertson. “We’re just so thankful because we know it could have been much worse.”

Meanwhile, Young is hoping people start slowing down and paying more attention in that busy, school neighborhood.

“Just a few weeks ago my husband and I were out talking to our neighbor, and we saw two cars just blow right through that stop sign - they didn’t even slow down,” said Young. “There’s a lot of tap on your breaks and go and people not paying attention or on their phones and not really looking.”

Public Works Director Brad Green says a portable crosswalk sign that is used there in the spring and fall has now been placed back out in the middle of the crosswalk to help bring more attention to the area while school is still in session, but will likely be moved towards the lake when summer hits.

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