Crossing guard dies after grazed by bus – QNS.com

Crossing guard dies after grazed by bus

By Adam Kramer

Beth Hammerman, a spokeswoman for Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Center, L.I., said Davis, 62, of 238-51 117th Ave. in Elmont, L.I. died at 4 p.m. from a brain hemorrhage suffered in the accident.

Davis had been a school crossing guard since 1990 at PS 147 at 218-01 116th Ave. in Cambria Heights and since 1998 at the Sacred Heart School at 115th Avenue and 226th Street in Cambria Heights.

She was grazed by the yellow mini school bus that was turning northbound onto the Cross Island Parkway as she started to cross the street on Linden Boulevard at about 7:30 a.m., said Sgt. Brian Burke, a Police Department spokesman.

“She was a great lady,” said Father Michael Gribbon of Sacred Heart Church, who knew her for the last three years. “She was the kindest, gentlest person you would ever meet.”

He said Davis' first concern was the safety of the school's children. Whether rain or shine, she was out there for the children and “loved them all,” he said. Gribbon said everybody in the community knew her and she was like a security blanket for the neighborhood.

“She was a very much beloved school crossing guard,” said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who had rushed to Mercy Hospital along with Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and Schools Chancellor Harold Levy. “She was hit, or more accurately grazed, and the impact caused her to be knocked down.”

He said she suffered a head trauma when her head hit the pavement.

“I was told that Mrs. Davis was a well-liked part of the community,” said Levy. “She has worked as a crossing guard for 11 years and was loved and liked by the community and precinct. This was a very sad and unfortunate accident.”

Bruce Mitchell, 32, who was driving the bus for the Acme Bus Company in Jericho, L.I., was not charged in the accident, police said. Burke said there was no damage to the bus, the driver's Breathalyzer test registered 0.0, he had a clean driving record, and according to witnesses, he was not speeding.

“We send our heartfelt condolences and want them to know both Mrs. Davis and her family are in our prayers to help them get through this difficult time,” said Jim Poisella Jr., director of human resources at the Acme Bus Company.

The mayor said there were conflicting reports on who had the right of way. He said one witness said the bus driver had a green arrow signaling he had the right to turn, but others have said Davis had the right of way.

Holding up two pictures of the accident scene at his news conference at Mercy Medical Center, Giuliani said “you can see the road was slick.” There was a downpour that morning.

“People don't obey the light and when you are at the crosswalk, cars still continue to turn even though the light says 'Walk,'” said a rain-soaked Ken Thomas of 121-47 235th St. in Cambria Heights at the scene. “I pass here every day and know the lady. The lights don't give you a chance to cross.”

Dr. Gloria Black, vice president of Community Board 12 who lives in St. Albans and comes to the area to buy gas, said the timing on the lights were off. She said a couple of years ago there were no lights, which caused an inordinate number of accidents, but when the lights were installed, the accidents stopped. Now, she said, accidents are on the rise again.

“It is a bad intersection with no 'Walk' sign,” said Raj Prabhu of Briarwood, the manager of the Gulf gas station on the corner of Linden Boulevard and the Cross Island Parkway intersection.

“The corner is in Nassau County so cars can make a right on red. You don't know if the cars are coming from the right or left,” he said. “There should be a sign, 'No right on red.' The major thing is there is no crosswalk sign.”

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