Sep 23, 2013 8:21 PM by Nathan O'Neal
TUCSON - As concerns persist about pedestrian safety near Mt. View High School, the Pima County Sheriff's Department is increasing its presence surrounding the school in an attempt to curb illegal parking and jaywalking which poses a safety risk.
The roads surrounding the school have been the site of several accidents over the past few years, including some that were deadly. The most recent incident killed "Dottie" Penrod, a grandmother who was crossing the street after a high school graduation last May.
"It's been hard, there's definitely been moments where I'm wondering what I could have done," Dottie's granddaughter Shelby said.
In a separate incident years ago, Talin Rogers was hit when he was 15 years old and crossing the street. He was in a coma for three weeks and hospitalized for four months.
These are just a few of the tragic stories that started and ended on the roads surrounding Mt. View High School. While the county has made adjustments over the years -- including reducing speed limits and putting in automated cross-walks-- residents living in the area worry that illegal parking across from the school promotes jaywalking.
"I think once they start enforcing the 'no parking', the jaywalking problem will cease to exist," one resident told News 4 Tucson.
In response to community concern, deputies are taking action and will increase their randomized patrol in the area. They will be giving out citations and warnings in the hopes of eliminating the risk for future accidents.
"We want to make sure people are safe and park in areas that are well lit, so that they don't have any issues moving forward," said Deputy Jesus Banuelos.