THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Peshtigo Crossing Guard Injured by Vehicle Friday
Issue Date: February 21, 2019
Peshtigo crossing guard Gail Bantes remained hospitalized on Tuesday, Feb. 19 after being struck by an SUV Friday morning, Feb. 15 while helping kids cross at the busy intersection at the stop lights in downtown Peshtigo while on their way to school.
According to the police report, Bantes, 82, was wearing the proper safety gear, including a reflective crossing guard vest and had a light up stop sign in her hand. The crossing light was white and showed the sign to walk.
Meanwhile, a vehicle driven by Barbara J. Price, 64, was approaching on Emery Ave., coming from the school and preparing to make a left turn to go east on French Street. When the light turned green Price proceeded to make her turn and struck Bantes with her bumper. Bantes ended up on the hood of the vehicle and then fell to the ground. She was transported to Bay Area Medical Center by her daughter-in law.
Peshtigo Police Chief Richard Badgley said he was just coming in with another officer at 7:42 a.m. when he got the call to the accident.
Bantes is one of two crossing guards employed by the city. She was a school bus driver for 43 years and has been described as a woman who is dedicated to watching out for children and helping to keep them safe. Jim Felker has been helping at the crossing while Bantes recovers. Family members have said that Bantes pushed two girls to safety before she was struck.
According to the police report, Price told officers she saw that the light was green and saw children still in the crosswalk, but not in her lane.
She said she believed that the crossing guard was on the corner but could not see her because the bright sun was in her eyes. She made the turn and struck Bantes. Police reports show Price was issued citations for failure to obey a school crossing guard and causing great bodily harm to a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Badgley asked drivers to be particularly watchful when going through intersections because vision may be impaired by high snow banks. Chief Badgley also gave Bantes a lot of credit for what she did. "She is a real hero in my book," he added.