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Pre-teen's tragic death raises concerns about traffic safety in area near Faiss Middle School

LAS VEGAS - The Faiss Middle School student who died after being struck by a vehicle Monday has been identified as 12-year-old Jonathan Smith.  

It happened near Fort Apache Road and Maule Avenue. Metro Police said Jonathan was hit by a driver who couldn't stop in time.

The child's tragic death has raised some concerns about traffic safety in and around the campus.  In the last few years, there have been some changes to traffic signals in the area that has only seen a handful of minor crashes until Monday afternoon.

Extra counselors were on hand at Faiss Middle School Monday as students and staff mourned Jonathan, popularly known as Jonny's death.

Metro Police said the 12-year-old ran across Fort Apache, south of Maule Avenue when he was struck by a car.  He was not in a marked crosswalk.

"I witnessed when I was passing by the little boy laying on the ground, so I signaled traffic," said Pac Hendricks, a witness. "He didn't want the traffic people to get frustrated and try and go around him." 

Images from Google earth dated May 2018 show school zone flashers on the north and south sides of Maule Avenue at Fort Apache.  It's the intersection where Faiss Middle School is located.  But those signals are now gone. 

Clark County says the decision was made after the traffic signal was installed, which is about 500-yards from where the crash happened.

A spokesperson said, "in light of this tragic accident, we will study the area to see if any changes are warranted."

"I just want to walk with my daughter, so I know it's gonna be safe," said Ivy Pineda, a parent.

There are school zone flashers around the front entrance of Faiss Middle School on Maule Avenue, west of Fort Apache.  Crash records from the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety show that in the last three years there have been no pedestrian crashes and only a handful of motor vehicle collisions in the area where the student was killed.

"I think they need a lot more crossing guards because over here, the elementary school has crossing guards and I don't see crossing guards for this age kids," Hendricks said.

A vigil to remember Jonny is planned for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at Faiss Park.

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