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Madras boy, 8, back home recovering after being hit by car; neighbors voice street safety concerns

(Update: Adding video, comments by witness, area resident)

'Since April of 2020, this is our third child now that’s gotten hit in our neighborhood,' Wells said.

MADRAS, Ore (KTVZ) -- Liam Mantiega, an 8-year-old Madras boy, is back home, recovering from injuries he suffered after getting hit by a car and dragged 20 feet on Strawberry Lane in Madras last Tuesday. 

Four people had to lift the vehicle partially off of him before he was taken to St. Charles Madras, then flown to St. Charles Health System last Tuesday, and later taken to a burn unit in Portland.

The boy’s mother, Ashley Garcia-Manteiga, said Liam was able to return home Sunday and is in good spirits.

But he has third-degree burns over much of his body and will be undergoing surgery next week for skin grafts.

A witness, Randi Galan, told NewsChannel 21 Monday she saw Liam on the ground in the crosswalk after crashing his scooter, asked if he was okay and tried to help him.

“And he tells me, 'Oh, I fell off my scooter!' And he’s crying, he’s holding his knee. And I was like, ‘Oh you know’ -- I was about to get out and help him -- and here comes this car with this lady in it and she just -- it happened so fast, she hit him," Galan said.

Megan Wells, a member of the Strawberry Heights Homeowners Association, said she and others have been calling for reduced speeds and other road safety improvements from the city for some time now.

“Since April of 2020, this is our third child now that’s gotten hit in our neighborhood," Wells said.

She requested the city add speed bumps in the neighborhoods. Wells said although the neighborhood speed limit is 25 mph, she observes people speeding all the time.

Galan also mentioned her son's friend got hit by a car twice, and encourages drivers to slow down and pay closer attention.

Wells said she has been urging the city of Madras to be proactive with making the main streets and neighborhood streets safer for kids.

“We’ve been requesting to have a speed study done, to see if we can get the speed limit lowered," Wells said. "We'd love to try and get it lowered to 15 mph, also speed bumps. We’re hoping that speed bumps would really help slow vehicles down, if we can’t get a speed limit lowered."

Galan said many children walk to and from school on the area, so it’s important that drivers pay closer attention and slow down.

“We just need to bring more awareness to our neighborhood that there are so many kids -- there are so many kids out here," Wells said.

If you'd like to help Liam's family with his medical expenses, click here.

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

Comments

10 Comments

  1. Enough with imposing will on my Freedom please. I drive slowly in neighborhoods. I do not see why I cannot have the freedom to choose to travel at a speed which is safe for me. It is Government overreach to impose a speed limit. Freedom. God Bless America and please pray for the speedy recovery of that boy!

    1. This poor child was playing in his small neighborhood. There are no bike lanes in this neighborhood. I know this neighborhood pretty well. Strawberry Lane is a small street in a small neighborhood in Madras. People driving cars through small area neighborhoods should just be more careful and drive slower. The speed limit through neighborhoods should be 20 MPH. There are always small children at risk. I pray this child recovers well. It is this kind of thing that just tears at my soul.

  2. In Madras the only drivers you see are exceeding city speed limits, whether in residential, school or park areas. He**, the skateboarders ON the streets and sidewalks seem to go faster than 25 MPH! Does the speed affect the bangs they do with the skateboards or is the loudness just the way it reverberates from under the roof of the Madras East Side Skateboard Park AKA Sahalee Park pavilion? It was formerly a nice place to stop for lunch and a stretch on a road trip but now seems to have been commandeered by a bunch of foul-mouthed teens on a daily basis as reported by my friend who lives there. They leave behind trash and sometimes graffiti, not to mention damage caused by the skateboarding on the walls, etc. I visit the park a couple of times per month, and the feeling of unease is more and more palpable. It is not a peaceful place to take a rest break and stretch your legs anymore. Anyway, my point is, it’s surprising that youngsters on scooters or skateboards haven’t had more encounters with vehicles there. Skateboards in particular seem to have taken over Madras parks, sidewalks and streets and, unfortunately, the indestructibility of their riders is bound to be tested.

    1. I’ve deleted several insensitive comments in a local story about an 8-year-old boy in a Portland burn center. This one is … close. Please show some civility, respect and sensitivity, or the only person you’ll be sharing your judgments with is… me.

  3. Run over in a crosswalk in front of someone else? What the? Driver needs to be charged. Lower all residential speed to 20 and double moving violations, just like a school zone. 25 is just an excuse to do 30 in my neighborhood too.

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