Lehigh Valley

Three pedestrians struck near Allentown Fairgrounds

Police say 5-year-old boy is in serious condition.

Three recovering after pedestrian accident near fairgrounds

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A five-year-old boy is in serious condition after being struck by a vehicle, with two others, while crossing a street in Allentown.

It happened just before 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lafayette and Liberty streets, near the Allentown Fairgrounds.

According to Captain Reinik with the Allentown Police Department, 64-year-old Jose Gutierrez, 13-year-old Jayda Shiwcharan and five-year-old Omesh Shiwcharan were hit.

Reinik says the police believe the victims are related, with Gutierrez, from Allentown, likely being the grandfather of Jayda and Omesh, both of Newark, New Jersey. 

The driver, an 81-year-old Allentown man, told police that he was driving on Liberty Street looking for a parking spot when he noticed people on the side of the road attempting to cross. He did not think that they were going to cross, and told police that he had no time to stop.

"Based on witnesses, we don't believe they were crossing in the intersection," said Allentown Police Captain Tony Alsleben on scene.

Police do not believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident. Police have not arrested or charged the driver.

Witnesses said the accident caused a commotion as people rushed to help.

"People was taking off their shirts and covering up [the man's] wounds on his head," said Timothy Bland, who happened to see the accident from inside his home. "There was a little boy that was under the truck and nobody was doing anything really because they couldn't pull him out."

The boy underwent leg surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital on Cedar Crest Boulevard, officials said. Gutierrez and Jayda are in stable condition. Reinik says Omesh's condition is improving.

Reinik says he can "only guesstimate that [the victims] were going to the fair."

Allentown Police are continuing to investigate this incident, but in the meantime, police stress the importance of safety when crossing the street.

"We always recommend cross at a crosswalk, we have plenty of personnel here assisting with traffic. Cross where there's a marked uniformed officer or at the crosswalks at the intersections and be very careful. There's a lot of traffic out here," Alsleben said.

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