Tulsa Parents Say Reckless Drivers Making School Zone Dangerous

Thursday, May 27th 2010, 8:50 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6 

TULSA, OK -- Parents say reckless drivers are turning their school zone into a danger zone.

Their school crossing guard was the victim of a hit and run accident Thursday morning.

The crosswalk where the accident happened is near a busy intersection on a major thoroughfare in North Tulsa and it's become quite notorious.

Many parents say they weren't surprised someone was hit.

Cherokee Elementary crossing guards say with drivers speeding, running red lights, and checking their cell phones there have been dozens of close calls.

Saunia Nelson says this one was too close.

"A white Chevy suburban, ‘90s model, sped through the school zone and ran the red light and hit me, after I yelled slow down," Nelson said.

Nelson says the suburban's front passenger headlight and grill slammed into her right leg and the driver took off.

She says when she hit the ground one thought went through her mind.

"I'm glad there's no kids are out here," she said.

This is not the first time the News On 6 reported on this dangerous school zone. Both times drivers have run red lights. Parents say it happens all of the time.

"Someone's gonna get hurt. And I just don't wanna see it," said Eddie Garrett, Cherokee parent. "I don't want it to be one of my kids. Or somebody else's kids."

That was back in October, when parents were clamoring for more police presence. A sheriff's deputy was patrolling the area at the end of the school day. But some parents say more needs to be done.

"It's crazy. We need more people to patrol it," said Bonnie Fortna, a grandparent. "There's a few of us out here who anytime we see someone speeding we honk. I lay on my horn because people are going too fast."

Nelson is limping along, severely bruised with a banged up wrist, but all right. She says next time, she may not be so lucky. And it's a matter of time before a child is the victim of a careless driver.

"Pay attention! Slow down," she said. "What if it was your babies crossing this street? Would you like it if someone started speeding through with your babies crossing the street?"

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is looking for the driver involved in this hit and run.  Anyone who saw the accident is asked to call 627-0440.