Marshalltown Schools: Adjustment to future road safety curriculum possible

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS — A small memorial in honor of Franklin Elementary student Christian Maxon can be seen at the corner of West Main Street and 13th Street, where the child was fatally injured in a car accident.

Following a fatal car accident which killed an 8-year-old Franklin Elementary student, Marshalltown Schools officials said current road safety curriculum is not being changed but may in the future.

Christian Maxon, a second grader, died from injuries after being hit by a vehicle near the school building after school got out last week. Marilyn Diggins, 71, was identified as the driver. Marshalltown Police Capt. Brian Batterson said last week police are looking at all factors as a result of the crash. A call asking for an update on the investigation was not returned before time of press.

Marshalltown Schools officials said children are taught about street safety every year in grades kindergarten through six, per Iowa Code. The curriculum, called HealthSmart, has several lessons for young children to learn what to do when they are near traffic, crossing the street, walking on the sidewalk and more. HealthSmart was introduced in the district this school year.

Some of the strategies taught include being as visible as possible, looking ahead, looking both ways before crossing a street, observing street signs, having a safe route when going somewhere and thinking ahead, among others.

District Director of Instruction Lisa Stevenson said there are currently no adjustments to the street safety curriculum being made, but said it is possible the curriculum will be reviewed and adjustments made in the future for further safety measures.

After Maxon’s death last week, the district released a statement about the accident.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Franklin Elementary School second grade student Christian Maxon following a tragic accident after school Wednesday. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Christian’s family and others who knew the beloved student. We have additional counselors available at Franklin starting on May 16 to serve those in need,” the statement read.

Other community members have been raising money for the Maxon family, including a GoFundMe page and Jeff Linton’s State Farm office.


Contact Adam Sodders at

641-753-6611 or