Apex residents address Town Council in aftermath of death of 10-year-old boy struck and killed

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Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Apex council hears from residents concerned after child fatally struck
New development near Woodall Estates further increases worries that more drivers could be speeding through the Apex community.

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Safety concerns remain in Woodall Estates in the wake of a 10-year-old boy's death on Memorial Day.

Ayaan Vachery died while riding a scooter when he was struck by a vehicle on Woodall Crest Drive. Ayann was a fourth-grade student at Combs Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh.

"We're just going to try to figure out some ways to find some solutions we can all live with primarily just to reduce the amount of speed on the main entrance where the child was killed," resident Darren Hock said.

'Brings the kids together': Apex community mourns loss of 10-year-old killed in scooter accident

Hock is one of four residents who attended the Apex Town Council meeting on Tuesday and spoke out for their neighborhood.

The posted speed limit on Woodall Crest Drive is 25 mph, but some residents are concerned about the potential traffic and risks to come with new development underway near the subdivision.

"My main concern is the volume of traffic that's going to be increased once those homes start opening up," Jean Tice said. "People tend to, as they get closer to their own homes, they speed up a little bit, so that's what concerns me."

2022 was a deadly year for pedestrians in Wake County, namely in the City of Raleigh.

NCDOT said there were 34 pedestrian deaths in Wake County, which is more than double the number of deaths in 2021.

"As speeds increase, the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and having major injuries increases with vehicle speed," safety evaluation engineer Carrie Simpson said.

As NCDOT works to identify potentially hazardous locations and improve safety, some residents in Apex have decided to take matters into their own hands and placed signs on Woodall Crest Drive telling drivers to slow down.

Apex Police is still working on the investigation as of June, including the speed of the driver, what type of scooter was involved and whether or not the juvenile was wearing a helmet.

Town officials said the Traffic Safety Unit is working through a full crash reconstruction of the case which can take several weeks to complete.

Meanwhile, they said they could not locate any speeding complaints specific to the Woodall Estates neighborhood, nor is there any record of a traffic calming request from the neighborhood that would typically begin the process for studying a street for speed bumps.