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Updated 11:30 a.m. Thursday: Children Struck by Car in Front of Edison School

Accident occurred just before 8 a.m. Thursday.

Update: This story was updated at 11:27 a.m. to include comments made by Westfield Police Capt. Scott Rodger.

Westfield Police Capt. Scott Rodger said a crossing guard was present and actively directing traffic when the collison occurred near the intersection of Rahway Avenue and Grove Street. Rodger said students who were hit were crossing in the crosswalk during the time of the accident. The driver who struck the children--both students at Edison Intermediate School--had been directed to stop by the crossing guard but claimed that due to sun glare she was unable to see the crossing guard nor the children.

Rodger added that both children suffered injuries, one to the head and one to the arm. Both children's parents were contacted and arrived at the scene. Both children were transported to the hospital by ambulance. Their conditions are not known at this time. 

Update: This story was updated at 9:32 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 to include comments made by Reid Edles, president of the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad and a message from Edison Intermediate School Principal Matthew Bolton.

Reid Edles, president of the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad, said two patients were treated outside of Edison Intermediate School this morning. One was transported to the hospital by the Westfield Volunteer Rescue Squad and one was treated at the scene by the Fanwood Rescue Squad.

The following is a message from Edison Principal Matt Bolton:

Dear Edison School Families,

As I’m sure all of you noticed this morning, there were police cars and an ambulance in front of Edison School. Unfortunately, two students were struck by a car as they crossed the street. Both student (sic) were in good spirits as they and their parents were transported to the hospital for further evaluation. 

At this time of year, in the early morning, the sun shines directly into the eyes of drivers who are traveling East on Rahway Avenue. As a result of this significant sun glare, it can be very difficult to see students and the crossing guard. Please be careful driving on Rahway Avenue in the morning. 

Thank you,

Matt Bolton

Original: Westfield Police have confirmed that a child was hit by a car outside of Edison Intermediate School just before 8 a.m. on Thursday.

The child was taken to the hospital but injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, police said. 

Police could not say whether the child was male or female or if he or she had been in the crosswalk at the time the accident occurred. At this time police could not say if the driver had been issued a summons as the investigation is ongoing.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

FD December 20, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Crossing guards shouldn't be doing a cops job. Why aren't Westfield cops down there directing traffic if it is a busy intersection. Would you expect a fireman to put out a fire with a squirt gun?
sally cohen-alameno December 20, 2012 at 07:07 PM
"What was a crossing guard doing directing traffic?" He was doing his job. He is, as many have already said, quite proficient at this job. He manages the intersection beautifully, stopping the flow of traffic to allow the children to get to school safely and allowing traffic to resume in an orderly manner. Without his *direction*, that area would be a free for all. I have had drivers HONK at me repeatedly when in the long line that invariably builds up.....People want to speed down Rahway to get to the Parkway. Guess what - there's a HUGE school there, you can't possibly miss it. Both he and the usual crossing guard at the high school are pretty amazing...it's the drivers who create problems.
FD December 20, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Sally, he is a crossing guard that does a great job crossing children. His job is not to clear out the traffic that "invariably" builds up causing people to honk their horns at you. Maybe if more parents had their children walk to school instead of being chauffeured everywhere, there would be less congestion. If the conditions remain the same and traffic "direction" or directing is necessary, a police officer should be there.
Doogie Howser December 20, 2012 at 07:33 PM
If the driver claims to not have seen the crossing guard due to the glare, what difference would it have made if it were a cop, the Marines, or Big Foot? The crossing guard seems to have done his job, the kids followed their instructions, and the driver hit them anyway. The only blame to be placed here is on the driver.
slk2003 December 20, 2012 at 07:40 PM
FD, why would you want your kid to walk when traffic is so pedestrian unfriendly. I find the town to pretty much be a pedestrian nightmare and I am not sure when I will allow my kids to walk to school by themselves. Ever try crossing North Avenue even with a crosswalk and a sign directing drivers to stop for pedestrians? Every try crossing Broad when the cars are turning left. It is nothing but scary.
NR9 December 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
@ Doogie Howser. I might put some blame on the sun too. Glare is certainly a consideration and if so bad, a driver should react accordingly, possibly even coming to a complete stop and then inching up little by little very slowly till they've passed the glare spot. But, sometimes, the glare just hits you with no notice at all. I don't know what happened first-hand as I was not there. But, it is possible that everyone- driver, crossing guard, student - was doing their job. That being said... TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU about "... cop, the Marines, or Big Foot." That was very well said on your part.
FD December 20, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Where do kids walking to Edison cross North Ave? I guess the answer is to have more enforcement but the town has cut back on the police and they must be stretched to the limit. I don't remember these problems 15 years ago
FD December 20, 2012 at 08:02 PM
It is pedestrian unfriendly because of all the cars on the road chauffeuring kids to school and being in a hurry when stuck in traffic
Doogie Howser December 20, 2012 at 08:29 PM
@NR9 Yes - we'll blame the darn sun for having the nerve to rise in the East when it should know that it will impact drivers on Rahway Ave in the 07090. I would certainly expect that the driver gets a citation for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, failurte to follow crossing guard, and vehicular assault. I've never heard of the "there was glare" exception to our driving laws. I'm sure the driver didn't mean any harm, but the blame is 100% hers nonetheless and she should be held accountable.
Aniel December 20, 2012 at 08:33 PM
@Sally Cohen You said that He manages the intersection beautifully, stopping the flow of traffic to allow the children to get to school safely and allowing traffic to resume in an orderly manner. If that were the case why were these two children hit? He obviously did something wrong today. My advice is make sure the traffic is stopped before any direction is given to anyone to cross.
Jim December 20, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I pass through that area every morning and concur that crossing guard does an excellent job day-in and day-out. Inexcusable that the driver blames sun glare. How fast was she driving? and as was said earlier, if you can't see in that situation then stop immediately!
Aniel December 20, 2012 at 08:41 PM
@Doogie Howser What difference does it make, whether the marines Bigfoot or a crossing guard or cop, nobody should be telling the children to cross until traffic has come to a stop. The crossing guard should have never assumed the driver would see him or the children without first making sure it was safe to cross. As much as we all blame the driver, I also blame the crossing guard for telling the kids to cross when it was clearly not safe to do so. As efficient as he might be in controlling this intersection it only takes one accident like this to expose a problem.
Sasquatch December 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Even I am smart enough to know that you wait for cars to stop before you tell kids to cross. The crossing guard screwed to pooch on thi one. He gamble that the driver would stop and told the kids to cross.
Doogie Howser December 20, 2012 at 09:12 PM
So, if the crossing guard is in the middle of the street with no car there and the kids start to cross, he should tell them to go back? Or, like most rational people, does he assume that since the people are already in the middle of the crosswalk, the car will stop just like the million other cars in the same situation have done? In a pedestrian vs. car accident in a crosswalk, it is the driver's fault 1000000% of the time.
Sasquatch December 20, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Doogie, is that what happened today? You make it sound like there were no cars coming when the article says there was. He should have made sure that the car stopped before leading those children to their demise. Isn't that what the children are taught? To listen to the crossing guard?
A Parent December 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Doogie Howser, I'm afraid you are wrong in this case. Based on the information we know, this accident involved a car, a pedestrian, and a crossing guard. If it were just a car and pedestrian you might be correct in your obsrvation that the car is 1000000% at fault. However, due to the existence of a crossing guard in the equation, who told the pedestrians to cross, the crossing guard could be found to be at fault by not properly determining that the roadway was safe to cross. By that I mean, just because a million other cars in the same situation would have stopped as you say, the crossing guard was wrong to assume the next car would stop. I don't care what odds you give me. If there is a million to one chance my kid could be hit by a car if the crossing guard assumes a car approaching will stop and it does not, I wont risk it. Thats why I just told my child that attends Edison to look both ways before crossing and be sure that the cars approaching are stopped and never assume the crossing guard has made it safe to cross. If there are no cars approaching or are in a distant, be sure to have enough time to safely cross.
slk2003 December 20, 2012 at 11:06 PM
SOrry, the reference to North Avenue was an editorial comment.
A.John Blake December 20, 2012 at 11:09 PM
The crossing guard is allowed to help the children according to certain rules.He does not have the power or authority of a policeman.The crossing guard is supposed to wait until there is a break in the traffic and no cars are coming and then escort the children across . The guard is not allowed to step out into moving traffic and attempt to stop moving cars. Before the children leave the sidewalk, the cars are supposed to be stopped. Directing traffic when children are not crossing is not allowed. There does not seem to be any doubt that the driver is wrong. The children seem to have no fault since they followed the direction of the guard. The guard, it would seem, must answer as to why he signalled the children into the street when a vehicle was coming toward them and had not stopped. The guard was doing what was expedient and what he was probably told to do but he does not seem to be following what the rules say he is allowed to do. He's not expected to stop the traffic. He is expected to keep the children in a place of safety until there is an opening which will allow them to cross in safety. A.John Blake
sally cohen-alameno December 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Have you actually been on Rahway Avenue at this time of day? At either the high school or the middle school? If the guard doesn't step out with his BIG hand held STOP sign, there won't be a break in traffic until the end of first period. I'm sure there will be a careful review of everything, but I can't imagine that will change. For the internet trolls who are ripping apart the guard, shame on you.
A.John Blake December 21, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Ms C-A, You are talking about what should be, what is expedient. Others have pointed out that crossing guards are not policemen and are not allowed to direct traffic. The driver is obviously negligent. The crossing guard is not allowed to act on his opinion that the on-coming car should stop. He is not allowed to do what happened here. He thought the car would stop .It didn't . The children paid for the error. If the children can't cross the street until second period, that's unfortunate but it doesn't change the rule that the only one who can direct traffic is a policeman. What you describe is dangerous to the guard and the children. The rule exists for a reason. Evasion of the rule results in the present mess. A.John Blake
K December 21, 2012 at 01:17 AM
I agree that the crossing guards in front of Edison and in front of the high school are fabulous. Has anyone ever watched what happens when they are away and replaced for a day? To those of you who believe that the children should only cross the street on Rahway when there is absolutely no oncoming traffic, have you ever travelled on Rahway between 7:30 and 8am? No one would get to school before 10. Quite a few parents drop their children off a block or two away from school. Those are precisely the children who rely on our crossing guards. I am tremendously grateful to the men and women who stand outside in weather of every kind and help my four children get safely to and from school. I do hope that this accident reminds everyone who travels past a school at any time that these are areas with children present. Our schools are used before, during and after the regular school hours and we all need to be mindful and patient when we travel in those areas.
Facts December 21, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Where die anyone suggest that children cross Rahway Ave when there is absolutely no traffic? There is no such thing. The regular crossing guard at Dorian and Rahway is an Auxillary Police officer. He is well trained and authorized not only to cross pedestrians but he is also authorized to direct traffic which is a necessity at this location. The crossing guard at Edison is not a law enforcement officer and this not authorized to direct traffic. He can pick a gap in traffic, hold up his stop sign. Have traffic stop, cross children, then return to the curb.
Facts December 21, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Where did anyone suggest that children cross Rahway Ave when there is absolutely no traffic? There is no such thing. The regular crossing guard at Dorian and Rahway is an Auxillary Police officer. He is well trained and authorized not only to cross pedestrians but he is also authorized to direct traffic which is a necessity at this location. The crossing guard at Edison is not a law enforcement officer and is not authorized to direct traffic. He can pick a gap in traffic, hold up his stop sign. Have traffic stop, cross children, then return to the curb. Only when traffic has come to a stop or there is a significant gap in traffic should the crossing guard instruct pedestrians to cross.
Traffic Safety December 21, 2012 at 01:05 PM
http://07090.blogspot.com/2012/08/school-crossing-guards-help-and.html
Time For Change December 21, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Sun glare is definitely a problem we all encounter. It is incumbent on everyone, especially drivers, to be more careful and slow down when sun glare is present, provided the idiot driver behind you doesn't try to pass you under these circumstances.
GGG December 23, 2012 at 02:41 PM
I agree... This IS one of the better crossing guards...
GGG December 24, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Well Said. Most of the people commenting on here are clueless. Some are saying if a "cop" held up his hand the blinded driver would have some how not been blinded. pretty silly comment. Just research how many police officers are struck by cars, and some killed, while directing traffic. Some have blamed the Sun, talk about silly. Sorry but the RESPONSIBILITY for this one is all with the driver who failed to stop for a crossing guard, wearing bright green reflective safety clothing holding a big red reflective STOP SIGN and the two children in a well marked school crosswalk.
South Westfielder December 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Directing traffic need not require a policeman. Crossing guards can be certified and trained to the point where they would have as much authority as a policeman would with regard to directing traffic. There is no error here, Mr. Blake other than a careless driver who was not driving safely given the conditions. Those who have posted here about the poor driving habits of those who use Rayway Ave, including Edison and Tamaques parents speeding down the street, double parking and dropping off their kids in illegal places are the main cotrnibuting factors.
South Westfielder January 10, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Mr. Blake - Don't you care enough to spell correctly? No pride? You wrote: "The guard, it would seem, must answer as to why he signalled the children into the street when a vehicle was coming toward them and had not stopped." It's "signaled".
Debra palmer January 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM
There are so many excellent crossing guards that without them directing traffic we would all be sitting in our cars for far to long. I wish the guards who did not direct traffic were trained to do so as traffic is bad enough!

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