A teacher working as a crossing guard was struck by a car that had failed to stop while children were crossing in front of Stone Ridge Elementary School, injuring the teacher who was taken to an area hospital.
The incident took place Aug. 31 around 8:30 a.m. Christopher Matthews, 20, was issued two citations for failure to devote full time attention and failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalk. The citations combine for a total of $354 in fees.
Jennifer Croy, a first-grade teacher at Stone Ridge, works as the school’s crossing guard before and after school. She said traffic had been stopped to let a mother and daughter cross when a car traveling eastbound on West Memorial Road approached the crosswalk at a high speed. Croy yelled for the driver to stop and said he swerved at the last second and hit her in the leg.
“His (front left) bumper hit my knee and I fell to the ground,” Croy said. “He kept going and I couldn’t tell until he passed that (the little girl) was okay.”
Croy was in the middle of the street and the car went between her and the little girl, who had just begun to cross. Croy said she ran after the car and that Matthews finally came to a stop. He told her he could not see because of the sun and then left the scene.
“When I saw (the little girl) was okay I took off running and he stopped way down the road,” Croy said. “He rolled down his window and said ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I couldn’t see, the sun was in my eyes,’” Croy said. “I told him this was a school zone and he wasn’t even doing the speed limit.”
Croy said she spotted a bowl of cereal in the cup holder of the car and was able to get a partial number of Matthews’ license plate, which were also Tennessee tags.
“I checked on the little girl and she was crying,” Croy said. “The mom was consoling her and said she didn’t get hit, she was just scared. It was past time to start school and I came to the office.”
Croy said she did not immediately realize she had been hurt until she came into the school.
“I guess I came out of that shock and realized I had just been hit by a car,” she said.
Police and an ambulance were called where a report was taken and Croy was given medical attention. Croy said she declined a ride by ambulance to the hospital but had a friend take her. X-rays did not show any broken bones but Croy said she was told there could be ligament damage in her leg and that her shoulder and ribs were very sore.
Oklahoma City Police were able to locate the home of Matthews using the vehicle description and plate numbers Croy had given. According to OKCPD Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow, Matthews told officers he did not know he had hit Croy and that is why he failed to initially stop. Wardlow said no arrest was made.
Pick up a copy of next week’s Gazette for more information on this story.