Driver almost strikes crossing guard in school zone during morning rush
Oct 21, 2022, 6:00 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — Crossing guard Lindi Shumaker “saw her life flash before her eyes” on Sept. 28 when a Toyota Tacoma flew through an intersection, narrowly missing her as she jumped out of the way of the pickup.
“The driver decided that he was the most important person and decided to floor it to make a left turn through my crosswalk. The only reason I am alive is because God wants me to be,” Shumaker said.
About 20 yards down the road the driver slowed down, looked back in the rearview mirror and sped away, Shumaker said.
“Everyone froze. I picked up my stop sign and walked the kids across as tears started to fill my eyes,”
Between the foot and vehicle traffic, the crosswalk to school on Foothill Drive at 400 North in Saratoga Springs can get busy during the morning rush.
Saratoga Springs City and Police Department make changes
Shumaker reached out to the city and the Police Department and asked that a police officer monitor traffic. For a few days after her near-miss, officers helped slow traffic in the area.
KSL NewsRadio also contacted the city of Saratoga Springs to see what was being done to protect children and crossing guards from reckless drivers.
“The city is aware and has always been aware; it is an ongoing thing,” said AnnElise Harrison, public relations specialist for Saratoga Springs.
She said that the city has conducted traffic studies for years to make it as safe as possible for children crossing through area school zones.
Saratoga Springs installed specific signs and signals to help make drivers more aware as they pass through the busy intersection.
Signs with flashing lights illuminate when someone pushes the button to cross. On Oct. 20 a “No Left Turn” sign was installed; it lights up if someone is in the crosswalk.
“We just want the people in our city to be safe, especially our crossing guards,” Harrison said. “They are our eyes and ears for the city. They tell us when something needs to be changed.”
Crossing Guard continues to help schoolchildren
“It is a crazy intersection, and most guards don’t want to do it.” Shumaker said, adding “It has been amazing to see the people change and slow down since this incident. “They are special kids. If I can help them know that they are important and cared about, then it’s all worth it.”
As the weather turns colder and darker, the roads become more dangerous for all pedestrians, crossing guards, and children. Ultimately, drivers can make the biggest strides toward ensuring the safety of all pedestrians.
Contributing: Curt Gresseth
- SafeUT helps save lives and keep schools safe
- With kids back to school, watch for crosswalk and bus safety