82-year-old crossing guard pushes kids to safety before being hit by SUV

82-year-old crossing guard pushes kids to safety before being hit by SUV
Gail Bantes, a crossing guard and former bus driver, is described as a woman dedicated to watching out for children and helping to keep them safe. (Source: WBAY)

PESHTIGO, WI (WBAY/Gray News) - Police cited a driver who struck an 82-year-old crossing guard, described as a woman dedicated to keeping children safe, as she was helping kids cross the street, WBAY reports.

The Peshtigo Police Department is urging drivers to slow down and use caution after an SUV hit 82-year-old crossing guard Gail Bantes Friday morning, just blocks away from the Peshtigo School District.

Bantes’ family says she pushed two girls to safety before she was hit by the SUV, which left her hospitalized.

Gail Bantes, a crossing guard and former bus driver, is described as a woman dedicated to watching out for children and helping to keep them safe. (Source: WBAY)
Gail Bantes, a crossing guard and former bus driver, is described as a woman dedicated to watching out for children and helping to keep them safe. (Source: WBAY)

Previously a bus driver of 43 years, Bantes is described as a woman dedicated to watching out for children and helping to keep them safe.

“I give her a lot of credit, a lot of strength,” said Peshtigo Police Chief Rick Badgley. “She’s very devoted to what she does. She always has been, and she always will be.”

Badgley says the driver who struck Bantes was cited. She told officers glare from the sun prevented her from seeing people in the crosswalk.

Officials are asking drivers to pay attention while going through intersections, especially ones with ice and snow piles.

“You’re always going to have blind intersections. Slow down and watch at intersections because if you can’t see them, they can’t see you,” Badgley said.

Bantes is one of two crossing guards employed by the city. Another volunteer has taken her place while she recovers in the hospital.

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