ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – A middle school student and a crossing guard were nearly run over Wednesday when police say a woman was driving recklessly through a school zone. Witnesses say construction workers in the area were able to detain her until officers arrived.
“A car just blew right through the buses and almost ran over a student in a crosswalk, a white Range Rover,” said one caller who dialed 911.
“This is Rocky River transportation…We just had a car blow through and almost hit the crossing guard and a student over by Rocky River Middle School,” said a school employee who called police.
Witnesses say the incident happened just after 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, as students arrived at Rocky River Middle School.
“The construction workers made her stop….Yeah, yeah, she’s sitting there,” one of the callers told a dispatcher.
Dashcam video from a Rocky River police cruiser shows the number of vehicles and school buses lined up along Lakeview Avenue when two people narrowly missed getting struck.
The officer located the driver in a nearby shopping plaza parking lot.
A caller said two school buses were able to block her in.
“This street’s only 25 miles an hour, but it is kind of a main pass through, so people really go faster than they should. But, with two schools right here, people do go around the buses,” said neighbor Nicle Shaner.
“They have a lot of people directing traffic, i mean, it’s not just one person, it could be two or three or four,” said neighbor Judy Tarry.
Police cited 28-year-old Cali Lynch with reckless operation.
Thursday, state lawmakers introduced a bill in Columbus to increase penalties for drivers who illegally go around stopped school buses and allow video from bus cameras to be used in prosecutions.
“If they know that there’s an increased penalty, both in terms of a fine or lengthy suspension, they may think twice before they do it,” said Ohio State Representative Richard Brown, of Canal Winchester. “If this bill can save one child from being injured or killed because of someone’s going around a stopped school bus illegally, then I think it’s good and I think it serves its function.”