A Lawrence school crossing guard who had asked her supervisor to issue a plea to local motorists to watch out for guards and children was struck by a car this morning while working at 19th and Massachusetts.
Police Sgt. George Wheeler said the guard, Janet L. Daniels, 45, Lawrence, was injured at 8:36 a.m. today while helping schoolchildren cross Massachusetts. Authorities said Daniels was taken by Douglas County Ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Wheeler said two police officers who saw the accident said Daniels was "standing in the crosswalk, holding up her stop sign, wearing her reflective vest, on a 'walk' signal" when she was hit by a motorist turning onto Massachusetts from the eastbound, left-turn lane of 19th.
The driver, Virginia Campbell, was cited for failing to yield the right of way. Campbell's age and address were not available this morning.
Police Sgt. Susan Hadl, who supervises the city's 13 school crossing guards, said Daniels had asked her to make an appeal to motorists on behalf of crossing guards and children.
Acting on Daniels' request, Hadl contacted a Journal-World reporter earlier this week, and a story was scheduled to appear in today's J-W.
Hadl said Daniels has been a crossing guard for at least five years and has established a reputation for safety and concern for students.
"She's very good about calling in problems and telling us about motorists who are endangering the students," Hadl said.
Asked whether other problems had been reported by pedestrians at the intersection, Hadl said: "I think it's safe to say that somebody has been injured there. But not recently."
Hadl said the accident underscored the need for motorists to be more careful now that schools have reopened.
"They should always assume that the children can't see them," she said. "The kids have been taught the same thing -- that driver's can't see them.."
Hadl said drivers should remember that children and crossing guards always have the right of way in crosswalks. Running a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, she said, carries the same penalty as running a fixed stop sign.
Crossing guards, she said, are told to write down tag numbers of any cars that run signs or commit other infractions near crosswalks. Hadl said anyone who flouts crosswalk regulations also faces citations ranging from reckless driving to vehicular assault.
Speeding in a school zone, Hadl said, carries a higher fine than a normal speed-limit violation. Drivers who violate school speed limits are fined $3 for each mile per hour they exceed the limit, compared with $2 for each mile per hour in areas outside school zones.