Girl hit on rural Agassiz road recovering

Father joining fight for safer road conditions on country roads



A young Agassiz girl who was hit by a car on Wednesday night is now recovering at home, with plenty of scrapes and bruises.

Ashley Jeronimus, 6, was hit while crossing Ashton Road with her older sister. The girls and their mother were heading home from a friend’s house across the street when the incident occurred.

And now their father, Marvin Jeronimus, is joining his neighbours in a fight for safer road conditions on Agassiz’s more rural roads.

“It’s just a highway here,” he said. “No sidewalks, no pedestrian crossing.”

Ashton, which runs between Pioneer and Else Road on the western side of Agassiz, is a popular bypass for those who don’t want to drive through the centre of town.

Last spring, residents who live along the route, which includes Whelpton, Tuyttens, Mountain View, Fir and Pioneer, made formal complaints to the RCMP and the District, mainly about commuters using the country roads as a “raceway.”

They approached council, and a traffic committee was formed in June last year. Their hope was to see an outcome — in the form of speed bumps or ramps, a slower speed limit, or even roundabouts — before someone was injured.

“I want to get the ball rolling on this,” Jeronimus said Thursday morning. He had already spoken to a committee member and is eager to join their efforts.

While Ashley’s experience has the family “shaken up,” they are hoping to use their story to push along action.

“In Harrison, something happened like this and a child died,” he said. “Then they put up speed bumps.”

And in Chilliwack, residents on roads Carleton and McNaught approached council to have speed-reducing measures installed on their roads, due to heavy traffic flows and excessive speeds. Those roads now have roundabouts and speed bumps, respectively.

On Thursday, RCMP said that while they are still investigating the incident, it “doesn’t appear at this point that speed was a factor.”

But something has to be done to make the area’s roads safer for the children who live on them, Jeronimus said. There are children in several homes in their small section of Ashton, and they all visit with each other.

“It’s just a raceway,” he said. “And it doesn’t even save you time unless you’re speeding. It’s about 14 seconds quicker this way. I’ve timed it.”

Ashton has just been paved recently, making the road even smoother to travel. And despite the short length of the road, it’s also become more accommodating for lead-footed drivers. At times, Jeronimus has shaken his fist at speeders, only to be given a familiar salute in return.

“They have no respect whatsoever,” he said.

Jeronimus had already taken some action to slow them down. He put up a ‘children playing’ sign on a pole in front of his house. There’s no reason to be speeding, he added, and he even believes the speed limit should be reduced.

“It’s just a little country road,” he said. “It should be 30 km/h.”

Jeronimus spoke with Mayor John Van Laerhoven on Thursday morning, to inform him of the crash and to set up a time to speak about his concerns. He was told to bring a delegation to council on Feb. 25, and was also invited to meet with the mayor before then.

“We’re listening,” the mayor said, when contacted by the Observer. John Van Laerhoven is the chair of the traffic committee, which he said meets next in the spring.

“A lot of stuff that we discussed are things that he is talking about,” Van Laerhoven said. “I’m as concerned as the parents about speeding and safety on our roadways. I  encourage everybody to really be aware of their driving. You can’t take anything for granted or allow yourself to be distracted.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Solitary’ filming in Harrison Hot Springs

Portions of East Sector Park closed until October 6

Chilliwack man hoping to restore ‘59 Chevy with big lottery win

Hervey Blois, a retired veteran, says he’s ‘dumbstruck’ by $500,000 win on lottery website

SD78 board: Cautious optimism, anxiety mix as school year begins

To say it’s been an eventful two months for Superintendent Balan Moorthy… Continue reading

Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack company say undercover video by ‘vigilante group’ violates Charter rights

Fraser Health confirms expanded COVID-19 testing services coming

Long lines, several days waiting list as demand for testing surges in region

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Most Read