Quick Thinking Crossing Guard Prevents Accident

Ponca City Now - September 11, 2013 3:21 pm

A quick thinking Ponca City Public School crossing guard prevented what could have been a tragedy this week at the Woodlands Elementary crosswalk on north Hartford.

Crossing guard Colleen Patterson saw a pickup truck proceeding eastbound, heading toward the crosswalk and not appearing to slow down. Patterson had already crossed one little boy, and a girl was getting ready to step into the cross walk. Colleen stopped the girl from crossing and she stepped in front of the truck holding up her stop sign and yelling whoa, sir, sir, stop! When the driver stopped and realized his near miss, he stuck his head out the window and said, “I am so sorry; I could not see you for the sun in my eyes.”

According to Mary Ladd, Ponca City School Public Information Coordinator, “We started receiving calls at the Central Administration office as well as messages on Facebook right after the incident happened. Several witnesses thought that Colleen had been hit by the driver, but she was not. It was a very near miss!”

Ladd continued, “As I visited with Colleen, she admitted that distracted drivers do occasionally speed through the intersection even after she has signaled them to stop.” “I see a lot of people texting or talking on their cell phone and not paying attention to their surroundings,” said Patterson. “I always tell my kids not to enter the cross walk until I am out in the middle and give them the ok signal.”

It is the thought of what could have happened that reminds Patterson why she does the job. “It can be a scary situation but I am here to help. It makes me feel proud to get to protect children. I want parents to know that I take this job seriously and I will be the eyes and ears for their children.”

Colleen is not the first one in her family to have this job. Her recently deceased father-in-law, Raymond Patterson, was a crossing guard for the district for over 15 years. Colleen’s daughter, Amie Huster, stated, “My grandfather was a crossing guard at this same location for 15+ years. My mom took this job two days before he passed away. Grandpa is an angel on that intersection now for all of those sweet kids walking and riding their bikes to school.”

Tony Smith, Ponca City School Maintenance Director, said, “We are grateful to Mrs. Patterson for her quick actions, and that is exactly why we need crossing guards. Crossing guards brave the elements to protect children, working through 100+ temperatures, rainy weather as well as snow and ice when schools are open. They put their lives on the line every day being advocates for children.”

The Ponca City Public School district employs nine school crossing guards at various sites. These guards ensure that children safely cross the roadway at schools or nearby intersections. In addition to helping students cross safely, these employees are vigilant and trained to look for suspicious vehicles or persons in the area of their posts and know who to quickly report anything


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