Metro-East News

Teens hit in Mascoutah ‘darted out’ into traffic, remain hospitalized

Two teens struck by car in Mascoutah

A medical helicopter was on scene Tuesday evening.
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A medical helicopter was on scene Tuesday evening.

Two teen boys struck by a truck near Mascoutah High School on Tuesday evening remained hospitalized Wednesday at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Authorities said Donavan Green, 14, was flown by helicopter to the hospital within an hour of being hit by the truck on Illinois 177. Green’s mother said he was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon. O’Shea Dunkley, also 14, was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Both are students at Mascoutah High School, according to school officials.

Witnesses told Mascoutah police that the boys “darted out in front of” the 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by Zachary Thomas, 22, of Troy, according to Mascoutah Police Lt. Kevin McGinnis.

Thomas was not issued any citations, McGinnis said. Photos were taken of the truck, and it was not towed or impounded, police said.

“The gentleman did not have a chance to stop,” McGinnis said.

Illinois 177 was closed for about half an hour Tuesday to allow the helicopter to arrive and take off.

Mascoutah High School Principal Brandon Woodrome said the two boys are popular freshmen at the school.

“Both are active at school and very well-liked by students and staff alike. They’re good kids,” he said.

Donavan and O’Shea were hit at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. McGinnis said there was an activity at the high school, but he did not know if the boys were leaving that activity or where they might have been going. A third student was with the boys and not hit by the truck; Woodrome said that boy called 911.

The pair did not use a crosswalk, which is about 100 feet to the east of where they were hit, McGinnis said, and there are not a lot of streetlights in that area.

Principal Woodrome said Jefferson’s Restaurant, across from the high school, is a quick destination for those looking for dinner between high school activities.

Donavan and O’Shea were doing “like students do all the time; go across the street and grab a bite to eat and come back,” he said.

McGinnis said many high school students wear dark-colored or non-reflective clothing.

“It would be really nice to wear light-colored, reflective clothing,” he said, and to use designated areas for crossing streets.

Social workers were “ready to go” if any students needed to talk, Woodrome said.