Crossing guard hit by van in Cambridge
Published Thursday, January 24, 2013 11:51AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:47PM EST
A Cambridge neighbourhood was shocked Thursday morning when a van struck a crossing guard as she was helping students cross the street.
Sue Riddell has helped kids navigate the intersection of Blair Road and Bismark Drive every day for more than nine years.
Thursday morning, as she was helping her nephew Bailey Mitchell and his friend Dane Tinson cross the street on their way to St. Augustine Catholic Elementary School, a car headed in their direction down Blair Road.
“My aunt was doing her job, had the sign up and everything,” said Mitchell.
But the car didn’t stop for Riddell’s sign. The boys were able to get out of the way in time, but Riddell was not.
“She went up on the driver’s side, and she twisted and then landed,” said Tinson.
Hitting the ground, Riddell went unconscious. Mitchell grabbed a cell phone he had smuggled out of the house against his mother’s wishes and dialed 911.
Once the ambulance arrived, he ran to tell Riddell’s husband and sister, who both live nearby.
Pat Eastcott, Riddell’s brother-in-law, says Riddell is known and loved by the neighbourhood for the relentless attention she gives her crossing guard duties. She’s also a lunch hour volunteer at St. Augustine.
“Every day she goes out there, whether blizzarding or nice weather or whatever, and she knows all those children,” he said.
Eastcott says Riddell regained consciousness not long after the crash and has no broken bones, but did require stitches in her head.
Others in the neighbourhood say the area is very busy and dangerous for students and pedestrians alike. Students traverse the area to get to five different schools – two on foot and three by bus.
“That is a lot of children, Something has to be done,” said resident Stephanie Gould.
“I’ve seen a lot of speeders. I just find parents are in a rush to drop their kids off, and maybe get angry that cars are in the way.”
Gould and others say something should be done for safety at the intersection, suggesting a four-way stop, speed bumps or traffic lights.
The driver of the van, a 58-year-old Cambridge man, stopped his vehicle, got out and checked on Riddell. He has been charged with careless driving.