70-year-old crossing guard hit by car while in crosswalk suffers serious injuries

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-25 19:53:12-04

ROY CITY, Utah -- A Roy City crossing guard was hit and suffered serious injuries while walking some children across a busy street to school Thursday.

It happened on 5600 South in front of Roy Elementary School, and parents say it’s not the first and won’t be the last time something like this happen--unless a change is made.

Roy City resident Casey Pemberton walks his daughters the one block to Roy elementary every day. He’s come to know the school’s crossing guard quite well.

“All the kids always want to wave at him, talk to him, say ‘Good morning’ to him, say ‘Have a good day’, and he makes a point to wave at me every day," Pemberton said.

But Thursday, the typical exchange of hellos didn’t happen.

“He was lying there in the middle of the road, with a blood spot on his side,” Pemberton said. “I looked over and saw the silver Volkswagen bug with its whole front windshield shattered.”

Roy City police officials said the 70-year-old crossing guard had been walking some kids across 5600 south inside the crosswalk when he was struck by an eastbound Volkswagen Beetle.

“The windshield was caved in, and we believe when the vehicle stopped he rolled off and was possibly struck by the driver’s side tire," said Det. Matt Gwynn.

The crossing guard suffered multiple serious injuries and was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital. The case is being investigated, and no charges or citations have been issued for the driver, but police said they don't suspect speed was a factor.

“We’re looking into matters as to whether or not the driver was distracted, whether or not sunlight could have been an issue, those kinds of things," Gwynn said. .

Twenty-two crossing guards are employed by Roy City, and in the last 11 years three have been hit by cars, two now in the crosswalk in front of Roy Elementary School.

“These crosswalks have been around for several years, school functions nine months out of the year,” Gwynn said. “We’re asking folks to remember as they are going to work they are going through one or maybe more school zones, and we’re asking them to be careful.”

Katie Simpson heard the sirens from the ambulance just minutes after her kids left for school.

“Scary! Really scary,” she said. "I said to my husband, ‘That’s exactly what it sounded like the last time our crossing guard got hit’ and I just knew, I knew something had happened.”

Simpson is asking parents to join her in protest Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the crosswalk to raise awareness and get the Utah Department of Transportation’s attention.

“We made some noise this morning, and we’re hoping to get UDOT involved, file a formal complaint, and see what they can do to clean up the crossing so kids can be safe," Simpson said.