By Kate Raddatz

ST. FRANCIS, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota community is coming together to push for changes to a state highway in St. Francis after a car struck and injured two teenage girls last week.

Annie LaMotte and Kaia Bollmann, both 14, were struck by a driver while walking in the crosswalk at Highway 47 and Pederson Drive Northwest.

Chris LaMotte handed out fliers and T-shirts Saturday, encouraging friends and strangers to support a pedestrian bridge at the intersection where his daughter was hit.

“I’m willing to write emails every day,” Chris LaMotte said. “I’m willing to camp out on people’s doorsteps until they respond.”

Annie LaMotte was released from the hospital this week.

She arrived at the rally fundraiser in her and Kaia’s honor to hugs and cheers.

“Feeling really well,” Annie said. “It’s so good to be home.”

She even got to sing along with her show choir. Annie and Kaia were on their way to choir practice the night of the incident.

“It’s so great to know that so many people are here that really want to change this, for sure,” Annie said.

The intersection has been a safety concern to the nearby school for years, as students often walk across to the McDonald’s after school.

St. Francis Mayor Steve Feldman told the crowd he would push for the state to make safety improvements at the intersection.

“The time for talking is done,” Feldman said. “It’s time for action. I don’t care what they do here. Roundabouts – I don’t care – do something.”

Annie will soon begin physical therapy, but she is able to walk with crutches.

Kaia remains in critical condition at Hennepin Healthcare, but she has been responding to some commands.

Kate Raddatz

  1. Trevor Frith says:

    We must all care about these types of crashes but we must also ask, what if there was a way drivers could start the braking ¾ of a second sooner and stop 30 – 40 feet shorter even at school yard speeds. There is. Sad that those in charge of driver legislation and training refuse to teach student drivers the safer left foot braking method and ban driving instructors from teaching the very complicated and difficult to mentally maintain especially for older drivers (over 40!), dangerously inefficient (poor stopping distance) and even more dangerous (right foot pedal errors), right foot braking method on electric and automatic transmission cars. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058 and 812 431(spaces required). NHTSA insists on calling it “pedal misapplication” and always blames the driver rather than their beloved right foot braking method. Score to date 150,000 dead (19 every day), millions injured, and billions in costs. The price men both in and out of government are apparently willing to pay to maintain their systemic belief in the “Killer” right foot braking method on automatic cars even though they have zero scientific justification. As one transportation “expert” said “That’s the way it’s always been taught”! This is not about who has the safer braking method but rather why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods! Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake?

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