Parents fear for student safety after crossing guard struck

APOLLO BEACH, Fla. — A security guard at Apollo Beach Elementary School was taken to the hospital after being hit by a car while helping a student cross the street.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirms that the security guard was hit at the crosswalk at Dickman Road and Apollo Beach Boulevard on the morning of September 13. The security guard was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries and the driver was summoned about the accident.

what you need to know

  • Some parents of Apollo Beach elementary school students were concerned for safety after they were hit by a vehicle
  • On the morning of September 13, a signalman was attacked at the crosswalk at Dickman Road and Apollo Beach Boulevard; hospitalized with minor injuries
  • Affected residents can submit a school traffic report online here

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Some parents of Apollo Beach elementary school students have been raising concerns about the safety of their students commuting to school for months.

Last week’s incident involving the border guard has sent their fears into overdrive.

Cierra Diaz-Parker said she temporarily pulled her 8-year-old daughter from school over safety concerns. She says over the past year she has become increasingly frustrated with distracted drivers and cars speeding through the school grounds.

“You can’t see those kids in those big trucks over your bumper, but they’re not slowing down,” she said. “They just fly through this area.”

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The once rural community of Apollo Beach has grown rapidly. Now Apollo Beach Boulevard is a common thoroughfare for articulated lorries coming from nearby industrial parks.

Diaz-Parker says she contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and asked them to patrol the school area during rush hours and drive through ticket people, but she says she hasn’t taken any action yet.

Now that the school’s guard has been hit, she fears that if it happens again, it could get worse.

“I feel like a 30-second speeding ticket would probably get people talking to other people,” she said.

A spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement regarding the incident:

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“We remind drivers that school zones are in place to protect students going to and from school. Our MPs enforce these slower speed zones whenever they see a driver speeding and putting our children’s lives at risk. We were lucky that our signalman was only slightly injured, but we ask all drivers, including parents dropping off their children, to be aware of speed limits, traffic lights and crosswalks. Pedestrians on a zebra crossing always have the right of way.”

To report an area that requires closer vigilance, ask parents to tip or file a report by calling the HCSO non-emergency number at (813) 247-8200.

You can file a complaint online here.

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