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6 students hit by vehicle in Taft, all expected to survive

Driver cited for failing to yield to pedestrians
Posted at 9:35 AM, Jan 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 14:52:41-05

UPDATE (11:39 a.m.): Taft Police said they received a report of a collision between a car and pedestrians on Route 33 and 5th Street at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

Initial reports stated that a car had collided with five pedestrians who were walking to school, according to Taft Police. When officers arrived on scene, they found that there was a total of six minors who were hit while walking in the crosswalk.

Of the six who were injured, one suffered moderate injuries. The five others complained of pain and they were all taken to a local hospital, police said.

The driver was identified as 62-year-old Mark Johnson, police said. Johnson was determined to be traveling 20 to 25 miles per hour at the time of the collision, according to Taft Police. 
Officials said there were two factors that played a role in the crash. The driver's windshield was dirty and frosted and the rising sun was blinding him as he was driving in the direction of the sun, police said. 
The driver was cited for failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk among other vehicle infractions. Police said he did have a driver's license.


Six junior high students in Taft are being treated after they were hit by a vehicle Friday morning. 

Julie Graves, Superintendent with the Taft City School District, confirmed that six children were hit by a vehicle at the corner of 5th and Kern streets before school on January 25.

Graves says the six are students at Lincoln Junior High School. 

She says some of the students were transported to a hospital in Bakersfield, others were picked up by parents and were going to be taken to a local medical facility. She says none suffered life-threatening injuries.