Union: Pushed child out of way
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn school crossing guard Shameeka White, 37, was injured in the line of duty early Wednesday morning when she shoved a child out of the way of a car careening around a stalled bus on Atlantic Avenue, according to her union, Local 372 AFSCME.
Ms. White was struck moments after she pushed the child clear of traffic at the busy intersection of Atlantic and Ralph avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
An NYPD spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle that White was transported to Kings County Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The child was not injured.
A union spokesperson said that White sustained a fractured left arm and knee, as well as ankle sprains to her left leg.
Kings County told the Eagle that Ms. White was discharged from the Emergency Department on Wednesday.
White, a crossing guard for 10 years, is the mother of two children.
The union spokesperson said the car’s driver “roared up the street blindly passing a stalled bus that blocked his view of the child, the school crossing guard and the traffic signs clearly stating his turn was illegal.”
The NYPD spokesperson said no charges have been filed against the driver of the vehicle, who was not identified.
Wednesday was the first day of the phased-in implementation of an “arterial slow zone” on Atlantic Avenue. Department of Transportation and elected officials met on Atlantic Avenue two and a third miles west of where the incident occurred – and three hours afterward -- to announce the plan, which is designed to improve street safety.
As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Visio Zero plan, the first arterial slow zone in the city would reduce dangerous speeding along nearly eight miles of Atlantic Avenue, a corridor that has seen 25 fatalities, including 13 pedestrians, between 2008 and 2012.
Officials said Atlantic Avenue would get improved signal timing to discourage speeding, distinctive signage and increased enforcement by the NYPD.
On Monday, a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle at Atlantic Avenue and Fort Greene Place, according to Vision Zero NYC, which has been tracking accidents via a Twitter feed. On April 2, another person was injured after a driver overturned their vehicle at Atlantic and Saratoga avenues.
Local 372’s President Santos Crespo, Jr. said in a statement that school crossing guards are often ignored, “until a tragedy or fatality occurs.”
He added, “Shameeka White is a heroine, our wonder woman, who thought quickly, pushed the child out of harm’s way and allowed her body to take the full force of a speeding car.”
Crespo said that crossing guards are sometimes harassed by thugs. “This time we were lucky, both student and guard are alive, but, we’ve lost some others of our members who are screamed at, spat upon and assaulted daily.”
The NYPD oversees school crossing guards, who start out at roughly $10 an hour and max out at almost $13 an hour. They are limited to 25 hours a week.