Mother remembers her son killed by teen driver

Mother remembers her son killed by teen driver
EUGENE - A cross with flowers and gifts is all that marks the spot of a deadly accident Monday afternoon.

Ten-year-old Vaclav Hajek died Monday afternoon after being struck by a pickup truck in on Bailey Hill Road.

"It is very painful to lose a child," said his mother Marina Hajek. "You never think you are going to lose a son so early."

The investigation still continues, but police say Vaclav stopped his bicycle on the sidewalk of Bailey Hill Road Monday afternoon, waiting to cross the street. Traffic stopped to allow him to cross and he entered the roadway. That's when they say a 16-year-old driver sped around a stopped car on the right, hitting and killing the young boy.

"My child is not the kid of child that will just jump in the street from the sidewalk," his mother said.

A day after the accident, two Eugene police officers patrolled the same road, ticketing numerous drivers for speeding.

"We've had a lot of complaints from citizens of people driving too fast through school zones," said Officer Barry Rager. Kennedy Middle School and Churchill High School are both nearby.

Other neighborhood parents say they are outraged.

"It is maddening, over and over and over again people are getting hurt out here," neighbor and parent John Tollerud said.

Now Vaclav's mother wants to city to make some changes.

"It would be good if the city could take care of putting another crosswalk where the access to the park is crossing Bailey Hill. Churchill Market, let's say," she said.

But a city engineer says that could potentially be more dangerous.

"If I put the crosswalk in and our children see the crosswalk where drivers may not, it can actually be less safe to install a crosswalk," said Tom Larsen, a city traffic engineer.

Still, for the family of Vaclav Hajek, they say there is a simple lesson to be learned.

"I want people people to realize in areas where there are a lot of people crossing the streets, slow down," Marina says.

Vaclav was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, and his mother doesn't know if it would have saved him, but she wants to remind parents to talk to their kids about the importance of wearing helmets.

Next the district attorney will review the case for potential criminal charges against the teen driver.