Teen Fatally Hit by Pickup: Driver Cited

The following is a writing assignment for my Journalism 100 class at the University of La Verne. Information was provided by the Professor to write a story for a class assignment. Information may be false, outdated, or changed by the Professor for educational purposes. **This particular assignment was written with an old police report provided by the Professor.

On March 17 at 5:03 PM 34 year old John Goff struck 14 year old Melissa Green with an ’82 Chevy pickup as she walked the crosswalk on the corner of South Extension Road and Emerald Avenue. Goff is without injury. Green was air-evacuated via helicopter to St. Joseph’s Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. Goff is being cited with a failure to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Green and friend Vinnie Sabre were on their way to a baseball game at East High School. According to the police report, it was daylight, Goff and the vehicle were without apparent defects, and his nor was the victim’s vision obscured. The accident was witnessed by Sabre and another, Michael Platzer. Goff and witnesses told police he was distracted by the high school’s baseball game on the west side of the street.

Goff was headed south bound on Extension Road going the allotted 35 miles per hour and was not aware of Green and Sabre crossing Emerald Avenue. Goff did not see the pair as they were ‘right in front of the right front corner of his pickup,’ the police report filed by Officer John Szczepanski said.

Sabre told police he “heard the screeching of tires” and then saw Green “going on top of the hood of the truck and then hitting the ground a distance away.” Sabre felt wind of the passing vehicle but was not injured.

On March 31, Palmer of the traffic unit of Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was explained the elements of the case and told Szczepanski he did not feel they constituted criminal offenses. April 8 Szczepanski issued Goff a citation for violation of Arizona Revised Statues 28-792 A, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

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