A 12-year-old Riverside girl was injured after she reportedly rode her bicycle into the side of a minivan as she attempted to cross Woodside Road near Hauser Junior High School after dismissal time on June 1.

Deputy Police Chief John Krull said the department received several 911 calls at 3:35 p.m. It was Hauser Junior High’s last full day of school for the year.

“Evidently the light changed from red to green and traffic proceeded [north],” Krull said. “It looks to me like she didn’t judge the timing too well.”

According to Hauser Junior High School Principal Leslie Berman, the girl had left school and was coming back when she tried to cross Woodside Road from the west. Both police and school officials confirmed the intersection is not one where a Riverside police department crossing guard is stationed.

Rather, said Berman, that crosswalk is the responsibility of the student crossing patrol. However, Berman said, by the time the incident took place the patrol guard was no longer on duty.

The bicycle hit the front quarter panel of a 1994 Ford van driven by a 38-year-old North Riverside woman. The girl was taken to Loyola University Medical Center to treat a leg injury. Police Chief Thomas Weitzel described the injury as “not serious.”

However, the girl’s injuries according to other reports indicate that they were not minor, either. The girl’s father told the Landmark on Monday, that his daughter underwent surgery twice, in the emergency room and the following day, to repair a broken leg. Teachers brought the girl her yearbook and other end-of-school items at Loyola on June 2, according to Berman.

Police issued no tickets, determining the driver of the van was not at fault after talking with the driver and witnesses at the scene.

Matthew Ranft said that while his daughter and motorists might have used better judgment, a crossing guard would have prevented the crash.

“Would a qualified, trained crossing guard being there have prevented it? Absolutely,” Ranft told the village board Monday night.

Traffic congestion and safety are ongoing issues at Riverside’s elementary schools, particularly at the Central School/Hauser Junior High campus and at Ames School.

Cars line Woodside Road at school dismissal, and police are not there to direct traffic or keep things moving every day.

“I’d love it if we could find a way to convince parents to have their children to walk to school,” Berman said. “Other than crossing First Avenue, kids are within walking distance.”

All of Riverside’s schools request more police presence than officers are able to provide, said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel. But in addition to the regular rotation of police at all of the school’s in Riverside, police responded to Central/Hauser 59 times to do traffic control and responded to Ames 40 times.

Typically, police send the community service officer on those calls. However, that officer works Monday through Thursday and also handles other duties, including making court appearances and responding to accidents.

On Fridays patrol officers can be assigned to schools for traffic control, but can get called away to criminal calls. Riverside typically has two patrol cars on the street at any one time.

“We try to get to Hauser at dismissal two to three times a week,” Weitzel said. “But if an officer is committed to an incident you can’t pull him from it. We’re strapped.”

Last week’s accident also comes at a time when the village has said it will not fund crossing guards beginning next fall. The village asked District 96 to bear the cost while the village would continue to administer the personnel. However, District 96 turned the village down.

On Monday the village board agreed to re-approach District 96 to see if some kind of deal can be worked out. If District 96 won’t waver in its stance, however, officials hinted Riverside might simply assume the cost.

“I don’t think anyone will let the guards go away,” said Trustee James Reynolds, who is the board’s public safety chairman.

But, officials warned it would result in cuts elsewhere.

“We can put it back in for 2010-11, but we will cut something else,” said Trustee John Scully.