By Courtney Gousman
Winfield, MO (KSDK) - A Winfield teen was hit while trying to cross a busy highway.
It happened Wednesday afternoon, as the student was leaving summer school. Residents are blaming the situation on the need for crosswalks in front of the town's high school, but NewsChannel 5 discovered the money is already there.
Winfield city leaders say they're frustrated because this project is being held up by red tape.
In the meantime, 15-year-old Melissa Merrill is in a lot of pain, and she's recovering at St. Joseph Hospital West.
Her body is all bruised up from Wednesday's ordeal. The teen says she was leaving summer school at Winfield High School and was attempting to cross Highway 47, when she was hit by a car heading west on the two lane highway. She says she was thrown in the air, and then skidded on the pavement, after landing.
Merrill's mother is upset about today's accident, saying parents have been asking for crosswalks in front of this school, since it was built eight years ago.
NewsChannel 5 also talked to Winfield Police Chief Jim Johnson who says the city has already secured a grant that would help create sidewalks and crosswalks in front of the high school.
Chief Johnson says the city was hoping to have the crosswalks in by now, but there have been major holdups trying to obtain easements and right-aways for the project.
"They got the funds, it needs to be done before a child gets killed up there," said Judith Brown, Melissa Merrill's mother.
"The kids have said during the morning hours it's really hard to cross the highway people going to work and there's a lot of traffic out and they have to dodge in between the cars to get across the highway," said Julie King, a concerned Winfield resident.
NewsChannel 5 also talked to Winfield Mayor Steve Williams who's also frustrated by the slow pace of this project.
He says they've been working to secure the property for this project for the past three months.
Mayor Williams says the next step is to take bid from contractors.