Ambulances Summoned To Westwood

By Sara Momin, Assistant Community & World News Editor

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  • SROs and medical officials are seen helping an unidentified female person onto a stretcher. Cars have been stopped along the four way crossing in order to aid EMS.

  • An ambulance is spotted outside school with EMS carrying an unidentified student. onto a stretcher. Two ambulances were spotted near school, with one across the street carrying an unidentified female.

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On Nov. 11, a student was escorted in an ambulance prior to dismissal. After school, a female was then seen lying on the curb, appearing to be hit by a car. Onlookers tried to help the female as medical officials once again arrived at the scene. The student was then escorted on a stretcher, stopping traffic near the four way crossing to aid police and medical forces. 

“We had two separate student health issues,” Principal Mario Acosta said. “We had somebody in the nurse’s office that had a personal health issue that was not related to anything safety wise, so that was the first ambulance. And then after dismissal a young lady was crossing the street near the apartment complex and got hit by a car. She got a little bruised up and stuff but nothing serious or life threatening. That’s when the second ambulance came.”

Especially after the threats over the weekend, the sight of EMS brought concern to some students who did not know the situation. Many assumed that the medical officials were there to tend to a victim of violence, or worse.  

“Yeah, it was freaky. It was really bad timing,” Dr. Acosta said. “It was bad timing because I’m out there going ‘Today is not the day to have sirens on our campus’. 

Over the weekend, a gun threat by a student was posted online, causing concern to both parents and students. Although the issue had been resolved, many students were unnerved when coming to school, especially after the possibility was raised of a second threat.

However after the accident, students and parents were equally concerned about the growing traffic problem. The front road of the school has been known for its notorious levels of traffic during pickup and students have repeatedly complained about the rush when exiting school. 

“The traffic out here is horrible,” Dr. Acosta said. “It’s something I say to the parents a lot, and we’ve actually worked with some subcommittees that are trying to work on the traffic problem. I think you noticed all over the years, we’ve put up more crossing signs down by the tennis field parking, and all that has come from our partnership with the city.”

By increasing community outreach and awareness from Round Rock ISD and beyond, Dr. Acosta hopes to bring some closure to the situation. 

“I have a partnership with the City of Austin councilman,” Dr. Acosta said. “His name is Jimmy Flannigan. Jimmy has come out here himself, and I’ve worked with city engineers that work on this part of the city.” 

While crossing signs may fix the traffic problem temporarily, Dr. Acosta says that something needs to be done to permanently fix the issue before any more people get harmed. 

“This is not the first time a student has been hit by a car up here because of the craziness of the traffic. I think it was last year, a student got hit on their bike. The problem is that we don’t have a pickup and drop off lane. So, in this front space people are coming from all angles and then it’s super dangerous for students for students trying to walk on and off the campus.”

Working with the administration, Dr. Acosta hopes to create a change in the current layout of the school. Construction to improve the school and the placement of it’s classrooms has already been accomplished in 2016, however nothing has been done to fix the external issues. 

“So what I can say is that, we’re about to start our phase 4 construction in June. At the end of the construction, which is a 3 year project, part of the project is to give us a dedicated drop off and pick up lane for parents and I’m hopeful that this will clean up the problems,” Dr. Acosta said. “That’s three years for now, but it’ll probably get worse before it gets better.” 

As the situation becomes resolved, the quick response of EMS officials and school staff shows that some systems are working efficiently, although others need to be altered. Even if construction needs to be done to fix this ongoing issue, the teamwork and communication of the staff shows that it can be done. 

“As a principal, I’m responsible for this whole place and for all the people here,” Dr. Acosta said. “It gives me comfort and I’m very grateful to know that we have such great partnerships. This school is such a great community, everybody does their part and pitches in. I feel blessed for all the pieces of the puzzle and everybody working so well together.”