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Community Mourns Loss of Meade High Student

Ajia Owens, a senior at the high school, died after being struck by a vehicle while walking in Annapolis on Saturday.

The Meade High School community is mourning the death of one of its students, who was struck by a vehicle while walking in Annapolis Friday. 

Ajia Owens, 18, was a senior at the high school and sought to graduate this year, school officials said. 

"Ajia was a sweet, bright, and cheerful young woman who brought smiles to the faces of her teachers, friends, and classmates," Meade High Principal John Yore said in a letter to parents and students.

Owens is survived by a sister, Yasmine Smith, who also attends Meade High, and a brother Ahmad Smith, who attends Van Bokkelen Elementary. 

Yore said school counselors and other services have been made available to students this week. 

Anne Arundel County police said Owens was struck while attempting to cross the road in the area of Solomons Island Road and West Street. A preliminary investigation indicated she was wearing dark clothing and was not at a crosswalk. 

The Maryland Gazette reported that Owens was in Annapolis to meet with relatives to do some Christmas shopping. She had hoped to complete school this year and pursue a career in Homeland Security, the newspaper reported.

She is one of nine pedestrians to be killed in Anne Arundel County this year; another incident in Annapolis claimed the life of a Glen Burnie man on Saturday. 

Anne Arundel County police this week announced a new program designed to cut down on pedestrian strikes and other accidents. 

Under the "Thirty-Five to Save Lives" campaign, officers will be asked to dedicate 30 minutes per shift to traffic enforcement, with an emphasis on pedestrian safety, impaired and distracting driving, agressive driving and speeding. Officers will also collect data to determine the areas of the county with the highest number of crashes and violations. 

Meanwhile, the Severn community continues to mourn the loss of one young resident.

"Death is never an easy thing with which to cope, but when it comes to someone so young, it is even tougher," Yore wrote. "I know that our school and our community will rally together to help each other and the Owens and Smith families in this difficult time."

Funeral services for Owens have not yet been announced. 

Marc Riley December 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I feel so bad for the family of this girl...and as a parent of two small kids, I know the importance of teaching my kids to WALK on the sidewalk and stay out of the damn road. Obviously I don't know the details here, but I can't tell you how often I see kids just walking along in the ROAD, not a care in the world about oncoming cars. Some kids seem to DARE cars to mess with them, while walking slowly in the road. Again, not saying this was the case here...but merely making an observation. I'm also not blaming this young lady's parents, but really...our kids learn behaviors from adults. If all the adults teach their kids the same things (stay out of the ROAD) then we're good, right? I even see this in my neighborhood, after kids get off the school bus...walking down the middle of the streets. I go to the bus stop to get my daughter. I teach her to stay out of the street. Meanwhile I see unattended children walking mindlessly through the street. I'm THAT DAD...I yell at all the kids, GET OUT OF THE STREET! I'm rambling...sorry. People, teach your kids the rules...
Janice Savoy December 14, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Unless you where there no one can determine the fault of any pediatrian no matter what the age. There are individuals who refuse to obey speed or any pediatrian who walks in that area. Put yourself in the family place and you'll ask the same quesiton. Who the has the right to past judge on what happened unless they were there.

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