Cranbury officials need to take steps to slow down traffic in town, said the local girl who was struck and injured by a hit-and-run driver last year.
Mia Huang was accompanied by her family to the Township Committee meeting May 14, where she urged officials to install traffic-calming measures.
In her remarks, Mia noted “nothing’s really happened to help drivers slow down in our town” in the 12 months since a man driving a sport utility vehicle injured her and killed the family dog she had been walking.
“Please do everything you can so you can help prevent another tragedy, and not in a few months, not in a year, but now,” Mia said during public comment.
She suggested ways the town could slow down vehicles and said in an interview afterward that she favors the installation of speed bumps.
She offered first-person testimony of the toll last year’s incident took.
Mia, then 13, was walking the family dog at the intersection of South Main Street and Evans Drive on May 10 at a little before 6:20 p.m. The driver of a Ford Expedition hit her and killed the dog, law enforcement authorities have said. Mia was hospitalized with a bruised lung, a concussion, and her back, legs and feet torn open.
“It will forever be a traumatic experience for me and my family,” she said during the meeting. “But I’m truly lucky and thank God that I’m alive today.”
Andrew Huang, her father, said the past year had been “traumatic” for the family. Yet he spoke of the generosity of a community that had extended its hand to help. Police even gave Mia a new dog to replace the one that had been killed.
“There were kids over at our house every day just cheering her on,” Huang said. “It was really beautiful.”
Mia is due to graduate from the Cranbury School this year. She wanted to come to the meeting on the anniversary of that near tragedy to urge officials to act “immediately.”
“We just want to remind everybody this happened and we hope there (are) some measures taken to prevent it from ever happening again,” her father said.
Huang’s concern was not just in the area where his daughter was hit, but also in other sections of Cranbury. He said there are a few streets “getting more and more dangerous as more development, more warehouses, move into town.”
“The whole Main Street is a cut-through where people try to avoid Route 130 traffic,” he said.
During the meeting, Mia told officials that since last year, she tries to avoid crossing the street where she was hit.
“And when I do have to cross it,” she said, “I still see cars zoom past people trying to cross.”
She said she witnessed drivers ignore a crossing guard. She called the intersection “particularly dangerous” because it is “on a curve with a lot of trees.”
“And pedestrians are not easily seen in the crosswalk, which makes it even more risky,” she said.
Township Committeeman Daniel Mulligan III suggested officials have a work session and hear from the Cranbury Police Department to recommend steps officials should take.