Brandywine crossing guard hit by truck near elementary school

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Longtime crossing guard and Brandywine spelling bee coach Ruth Mitchell was hit by a vehicle while helping students cross the street near Brandywine Elementary School Tuesday morning.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:28 a.m. at the intersection of Fulkerson and 13th Streets in Niles Township, according to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Mitchell, 74, was wearing a crossing guard uniform and holding up a stop sign when she was hit by a pickup truck that was turning left onto Fulkerson from 13th Street.

The sheriff’s department is reporting that the driver, a 46-year-old Niles man, failed to see the crossing guard but was traveling at a speed of only a couple miles per hour.

The collision caused Mitchell to fall to the ground. No one else was injured.

Police said Mitchell remained conscious the entire time, but complained of minor injuries. She was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.

Brandywine Elementary School Principal Jim Boger said Mitchell has been an active volunteer with the school for more than 15 years, serving as a crossing guard, spelling bee coach and recess monitor.

Boger said a school counselor talked to a few children who witnessed the incident.

“They were concerned and a couple were upset,” he said.

Boger said he also talked to each classroom about what occurred and why it is important to follow safety precautions while walking to school.