Rally calls for change after crossing guard hit, seriously injured by car

Posted at 6:10 PM, Sep 26, 2014

ROY, Utah -- The crossing guard who was hit while walking kids to Roy Elementary School Thursday is recovering: 70-year-old Richard Pritchett has been upgraded to fair condition after originally being in serious condition after the crash.

Friday, parents in Roy City gathered in protest at the school crosswalk. The parents are asking for change at 5600 South 2800 West.

Bright and early, as many parents were getting their kids to school, a group of kids and parents gathered in front of Roy Elementary School in an effort to get some attention.

“We’re just trying to say, ‘Hey, slow down. These are our kids, they are your grandchildren, or nieces and nephews, like, yeah, we got to slow down,’” said parent and protest planner Katie Simpson.

Thursday, Pritchett was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while walking inside the crosswalk. Katie Simpson could hear the ambulance from her home.

“I heard that sound and my heart, they had just walked out the door, and, oh, when it’s your kids--that ‘momma bear’ just kicks in,” Simpson said.

The protestors are trying to get the Utah Department of Transportation to help with making 5600 South a safer place for kids to cross.

“We can make our school zones wider, longer, if we can get some flashing lights set up on our crosswalk--there’s a lot of options and ideas and I would like to hear more ideas,” Simpson said.

UDOT said they are working with Roy City police while they continue to investigate Thursday's accident, and if it appears more should be done to keep kids safe changes could be made in the future.

“In this area right now we have yellow flashing signs and the reduced speed limit for the crosswalk, but we'll be looking to see if this is appropriate or if there needs to be more in the way of safety measures out in this area,” UDOT Spokesman John Gleason said.

Gleason said the key to change is driver/pedestrian awareness because people disregard traffic signals every day.

“When you are out driving on the roads, when you are walking, it’s so important to pay attention to the signs, to the rules of the road, and that right there will take care of a lot of our issues I think,” Gleason said.