Man charged in pedestrian crash in front of Abington High School

A 32-year-old Abington man who authorities say was speeding when his vehicle  struck and seriously injured a 14-year-old girl in a crosswalk in front of Abington High School last month has been charged with aggravated assault by vehicle and other crimes, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

James H. Clark IV was also charged with reckless endangerment and related offenses. Officials said he was driving at least 46 miles per hour in a 25 mile-per-hour zone when his Subaru Forester struck the girl with such force that she flew up in the air and landed 102 feet away.

The victim was more than halfway across a marked crosswalk on Highland Avenue when the accident occurred, authorities said

The crash happened at the intersection of Highland and Canterbury Road about 2:45 p.m. on Aug. 23.

The victim, identified by her parents as Kelly Williams, suffered liver, kidney and spleen lacerations, fractures to her vertebrae, pelvis and leg, a dislocated shoulder, eye injuries, a concussion and abrasions, authorities said. She remained hospitalized Monday, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Camera icon Courtesy of the Williams family
Kelly Williams

“Our priority has been assisting our daughter in her recovery from the severe injuries she has suffered,” her parents, Eric and Pamela, said in a statement.

They said their daughter is an incoming freshman at Abington High.

“Distracted driving and speed are a deadly combination,” District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. “Drivers owe it to the community and to our young people to exercise extra caution and pay special attention to their surroundings in and around our schools.”

Clark told police, according to charging documents, that he thought he was traveling no faster than 30 miles per hour. His two sons were in the car with him, and one of his sons was concerned that he was going to be late for a lesson at a rock-climbing gym, the documents said. Clark said he checked his watch and told his son the time and then saw “a flash of color in the left periphery of my vision. I slammed on my brakes and heard a collision.”

Clark was arraigned before Magisterial Judge Juanita A. Price and released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 11 before Price.