Danville Police Department talks road safety after Boyle County Schools cross guard is hit

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 19:54:45-05

PERRYVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Yesterday morning around 7:30, Boyle County High School crossing guard, 57-year-old Donald (Buck) Sawyer, was directing traffic here on Perryville Road when he was hit by a car.

Danville police responded to the scene. Assistant Chief Glenn Doan says, "The vehicle failed to see him, struck him with the front of the vehicle. From witnesses say, he actually went up onto the hood of the vehicle, striking the glass as well, and then fell to the pavement."

Police say he was wearing a safety vest like this one, and using a directing wand when he was struck by the vehicle.

Doan says, "You know, we can never measure all the close calls that happen on a daily basis, where you're walking away, saying that could've been bad, you know. We can't, we have no way of tracking those, but we know it's happening."

Now, the Boyle County School District is re-assessing its safety measures and finding new traffic routes to prevent incidents like this one from happening again. Today they released a statement where the district’s assistant superintendent Chris Holderman says, "Safety of our students, parents and staff are a top priority in Boyle County.... Yesterday's accident was scary and our team felt a change was needed."

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While Sawyer is a trained cross guard who has been with the district for the past three years, Danville police say it's important for pedestrians and drivers to stay alert.

"If you're driving in a school zone in the morning, you know be mindful of those cars that are in and out, or children crossing the roadway. Knowing your surroundings, knowing the environment that you're traveling can help,” says Doan.

Studies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the University of Delaware show that being a cross guard is one of the most deadly professions with a fatal injury rate of 19 for every 100,000 workers. The school district has said that they are thankful that Sawyer's injuries were not life threatening – but Doan says recovery may be long.

He says, "From what I know initially, you know, there's gonna be some significant recovery time as far as — you know — after taking the brunt of a car, you know, like that."

This district says thoughts and prayers are with Sawyer as he recovers.