Thursday, May 17, 2012
Sangaree Elementary and Sangaree Intermediate School students and parents wait to cross Royle Road Wednesday afternoon as Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. S. Platt directs traffic.
School parent: School traffic ‘is chaos’
Natalie Boles, the 35-year-old Sangaree Intermediate and Elementary School crossing guard who was hit by a pickup truck on May 9, was in “fair” condition Monday afternoon.
That’s according to Medical University of South Carolina Business Manager Sharlene Atkins.
Fair condition is defined as having stable vital signs and within normal limits; the patient is conscious but may be uncomfortable and indicators are favorable.
Boles was put in intensive care after the incident, according to Berkeley County School District Public Information Officer Kathie Sizemore. The incident occurred at 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Royle Road and School House Road in Summerville, according to a statement released by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
The driver, a 16-year-old Goose Creek resident, was making a left turn from Royle Road onto School House Road when the vehicle collided with the crossing guard, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Bob Beres.
The teenager driver of the 1997 Chevy pickup is being charged with disobeying a school guard directing traffic, which carries a fine of $225 and four points, according to Beres.
The traffic violation is not a felony and is the appropriate charge because it was not an intentional act.
A Sangaree Intermediate receptionist said Boles, of Summerville, is a volunteer and a parent. A search of the Berkeley County School District’s staff directory shows Boles is not employed by the school district.
On Wednesday afternoon Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. S. Platt directed traffic as students were dismissed at about 2 p.m.
Students from Sangaree Intermediate and Sangaree Elementary cross Royle Road on foot or bicycle as long lines of cars wait on Royle Road, Sangaree Parkway – which also intersects here – or School House Lane, which leads to Sangaree Intermediate.
Torry Porter waited on the sidewalk near the intersection with his three children and watched after a friend’s child until her mother arrived to pick her up.
Porter said he knows Boles, who usually directs traffic in the morning and afternoon at the bustling intersection.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Porter said. “She’s a sweet lady.”
Porter said his wife drops off their children in the morning while he’s at work and he picks them up and walks them home in the afternoon.
“They need to have a police officer here every day,” Porter said. “Basically everybody’s not taking their time. They’re just rushing. It’s chaos every day. I’ve seen it almost happen a thousand times.”
“There are a variety of controls in the area to assist with traffic flow during school intake and release – flashing lights, crossing guards, crosswalks and speed limit signs,” Sizemore wrote in an email Wednesday. “The District would like to remind drivers to use caution when approaching any school crossing area.
“Slowing down, arriving early and discontinuing use of mobile devices in school zones are always important to consider.
“The district has met with a parent concerned about traffic in the area. We can ask SCDOT to revisit (a previous) study, and if they determine a (traffic) light is warranted, we will do what we can to encourage its installation.
“Until that determination has been made, we urge people again to use caution while driving in school zones.”
The Highway Patrol is investigating the collision.
The Gazette is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not The Gazette.