News, Village Life

Teacher Suffers Severe Injuries in Crosswalk Hit

Ransom Everglades history and social sciences teacher Kate Hamm was severely injured when she was struck by a large SUV while walking across Main Highway in a crosswalk at the intersection with Commodore Plaza in the evening of Thursday, April 11. She was taken to Mercy Hospital and then transferred to Kendall Trauma Center due to the severity of her injuries, with multiple fractures involving her legs and hip. According to reports from the school, her recovery will be long and arduous.
 
Hamm has touched hundreds of lives at Ransom Everglades, past and present. To recognize and support her recovery, Ransom students established a GoFundMe page to assist Hamm with out-of-pocket expenses during her recovery and to ease any financial hardship. By Wednesday, April 17, the page had raised just over $34,000.
 
Patrick Keedy Brown, a sophomore at the school, initiated the GoFundMe page. He is a member of the school’s speech and debate team, of which Hamm has been the coach. “We all adore Coach Hamm and are so upset about her injuries,” Brown said. “The donations received to the campaign are a small sign of the deep love everyone has for Kate Hamm and all our teachers at Ransom Everglades. On behalf of all of us, we hope she makes a complete recovery and returns to the school happy and healthy, as soon as possible.”
 
According to Dangerous by Design, a regularly updated national study of pedestrian safety, Florida is the second most dangerous state for pedestrians after New Mexico. According to the study, “While the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic upended many aspects of daily life, including how people get around, one terrible, long-term trend was unchanged: the alarming increase in people being struck and killed while walking… This epidemic continues growing worse because our nation’s streets are … designed primarily to move cars quickly at the expense of keeping everyone safe.”
 
This incident underscores the importance of recent “Safe Routes to School” campaigns in Coconut Grove. In both the fall and spring, Coconut Grove schools, working with the Miami Police Department, the University of Miami WalkSafe/BikeSafe program, and local nonprofit organizations, have participated in Bike Walk and Roll to School Day. City of Miami Police Commander Daniel Kerr has been one of the lead organizers. See his comments about the latest pedestrian incident in his monthly crime report, below. At its April 18 meeting, the Miami-Dade Transportation Organization will be asked to approve a $450,000 grant application supported by Commissioner Raquel Regalado and Friends of the Commodore Trail for safety improvements on the stretch of Main Highway that passes Ransom Everglades and several other schools.
 
Spotlight Editor Hank Sanchez-Resnik has been actively involved in promoting safe routes to school since moving to Coconut Grove in 2013. He is the founder of Bike Coconut Grove and co-founder of Friends of the Commodore Trail.
This article has been updated, correcting minor details of the accident.
 
To visit the GoFundMe page for Kate Hamm’s recovery, click here.

To learn more about the latest edition of “Dangerous by Design,” click here.

To download the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization guide to pedestrian law enforcement, click here.

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