Parents plead for safety upgrades of dangerous school crossing after three children hit by cars

A Darling Heights State School mother is demanding urgent road safety upgrades after her son and the crossing supervisor were almost hit by a speeding car.

At least three DHSS students have been hospitalised after being hit by cars during the school pick-up chaos in the past six years.

Jessica Warren-Smith watched in horror as the school crossing supervisor stood in the middle of the Wuth Street crossing, frantically waving his stop sign at the driver of an oncoming car which was travelling at least 60kmh.

Her son Loki, 8, had already stepped onto the crossing when the speeding car drove straight through the school crossing, in between her child and the crossing supervisor.

“The crossing man was terrified,” Miss Warren-Smith said.

“Luckily Loki was dawdling that morning otherwise he would have been a few steps closer and run over by the car,” she said.

After her son was safely inside the school gates, Miss Warren-Smith followed the driver in her car.

“I followed him and chased him down. I caught up to him at a stop sign a few streets away from the school,” she said.

“Nothing scares a grown man like a Mum voice.

“He had been driving under the influence – he was completely high. His eyes were bloodshot, and he didn’t even realise what he had done.

“I was so flustered and upset. I couldn’t remember his registration number, so I installed a dashcam in my car after that.”

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP said there were longstanding safety concerns regarding traffic outside Darling Heights State School.

“The dangerous school crossing conditions at Darling Heights State School should have been a top priority for the state government when one child was hit by a car,” Mr Janetzki said.

“Now we have had three children hit by cars here just in the past six years – and many near-misses,” he said.

“Darling Heights parents, students and staff have the right to start and finish the school day safely – not fearful of the next tragic accident waiting to happen.”

Simple solutions to increase safety at the crossing could include:

  • moving the school crossing away from the Maplewood Drive intersection
  • painting a zebra crossing on the road
  • moving the southern school zone signs further south on Wuth Street to give drivers more warning and time to reduce their speed to 40kmh – the current school zone sign is located just 36 metres from the solid white line where north-travelling cars must stop for school children
  • installing flashing school zone lights at the southern end of Wuth Street in the direction of travel – the current flashing lights are on the wrong side of the road

Mr Janetzki said he would write to the Minister and speak with Council as to what steps could be taken to better protect the school community.


Darling Heights State School students hit by cars:

May 15, 2017:
A girl, 11, sustained serious head injuries when she was struck by a car on Platz Street at 3.15pm. Her condition was initially listed as critical and she was airlifted to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital where she was admitted to the intensive care unit.

July 28, 2020:
A Prep-aged girl sustained abdominal and facial injuries when she was struck by a car on Wuth Street at 3pm. Paramedics transported her to the Toowoomba Hospital for treatment.

May 25, 2023:
A boy sustained a serious leg injury when he was struck by a car on Wuth Street at 3.15pm. Paramedics transported him to the Toowoomba Hospital for treatment.