Crossing Guard: Slow down in school zones

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

NATCHEZ — A two-vehicle accident outside McLaurin Elementary Wednesday morning was the result of a misplaced spit cup.

According to police reports, Robert King of Fayette was traveling south on U.S. 61 at 7:18 a.m., when his 2000 Ford F150 pick-up truck collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Ambus Riggs of Natchez.

Riggs was exiting the school parking lot when the collision occurred.

Crossing Guard Sam Fields had stopped traffic in both northbound and southbound lanes. King reportedly became distracted while driving because he was searching for his spit cup. King didn’t see Fields, nor did he notice traffic had slowed to a halt.

The accident has prompted Fields to reiterate two words — slow down.

“(King) was reaching down for the spit cup, but he doesn’t have any business looking down at nothing,” Fields said. “He came through there so fast it was like a red flash of lightning.

“I am very passionate about the job, and I don’t take my job lightly. This happened on my shift, and I hope people will be a little more careful out there.”

Fields said speeding near the school has increasingly become a problem and challenges police to strictly enforce traffic laws.

“People are going too fast out there. That happens all the time,” Fields said. “We need to have more control of the speed on the highway.”

Police Chief Mike Mullins also cautions motorists to slow down near school zones.

“People need to obey the flashing speed limit signs,” Mullins said. “It’s a busy intersection, it’s a dangerous intersection, but I don’t remember the last time we had an accident there.”

Though no one was seriously injured in the collision, Fields said the incident could have turned tragic.

“My responsibility is to make sure our buses, our parents and our kids are safe,” Fields said. “We need to be a little more careful because our kids are our future. We have to protect them.”