CLEVELAND – The Fox 8 I -Team has learned there was no school crossing guard where a hit-and-run driver left a young boy seriously hurt.
The accident happened Tuesday afternoon outside R.G. Jones School along West 150th in Cleveland.
The crossing guard there had been fired last month but not replaced until the day after the accident. That means the post had been left uncovered for nearly 3 weeks.
An I -Team photographer even noticed the buttons are broken for walk signals.
“There’s a breakdown in the system,” said Cleveland Councilman Brian Kazy. Kazy says the post finally got filled after the accident when he called police about it. “Whether it’s with Community Policing, the City of Cleveland or the Cleveland Municipal School System, they need to get on a better page.”
The school system says Cleveland Police handle the hiring and firing of school crossing guards. Even Friday, when we called the Bureau of Community Policing, we were told the commander and the second in command were both off.
Nichole Bauer is the crossing guard recently fired. She sobbed as she said, “It just hurts my heart to know that I wasn’t there for that baby.”
School records show complaints about Bauer for coming in late, smoking, and cussing. She thinks she got fired though for speaking out about two teachers investigated for getting intimate in a classroom.
“I don’t want to say that the guilt falls on me ‘cause I was fired, but my heart still hurts for that kid,” Bauer added.
Accident investigators have very little to go on as they try to track down the driver who hit the child.
Councilman Kazy says the city finally hired a new crossing guard on West 150th he had first recommended for a job back in March.