(KTLA) — A crossing guard outside Madera Elementary School in Simi Valley was rushed to a hospital Friday morning when he was hit by an SUV just moments after pushing a woman out of harm’s way.
According to FOX40 sister station KTLA, he was later identified by officials as 57-year-old Bob Belanger, a city employee for four years who has been working as a crossing guard for the past three.
Police were called to the intersection of Royal Avenue and Vaquero Drive around 7:30 a.m. Friday after a man driving an SUV hit Belanger.
It was a busy time in the morning with numerous kids and parents arriving at school. After the crash, the road in front of Madera Elementary School was closed for hours as authorities remained on scene.
Witnesses said the crossing guard was in the crosswalk at the time, helping a woman in her 20s cross the street. They said when he saw the SUV coming, he pushed the woman out of the way just moments before he was hit.
“The driver did stop, so this is not a hit-and-run investigation, and the officers were able to determine after further follow-up that it does not appear that he was impaired at the time of collision,” Simi Valley Police officer Steve Shorts said.
Belanger was rushed to a local hospital for treating what police called “possibly life-threatening injuries.”
The driver of the SUV is also a man in his 50s, and he is cooperating with authorities.
The woman who was pushed out of the way was not injured.
Amy Wardle, another crossing guard in the area, was shocked to learn of the crash and described Belanger as an easy-going colleague willing to lend a hand.
“He would take me to my appointments up the street — really friendly, easy to talk to,” Wardle said.
The identities of the driver and woman have not been released.
Police are still seeking witnesses as the investigation continues. If you saw the incident, contact the Simi Valley Police Department.
KTLA’s Marissa Wenzke contributed to this report.