MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Students and co-workers mourned the loss of a school crossing guard, killed Wednesday afternoon while directing traffic outside Mt. Mourne School in Iredell County.
Frank Booth, 59, a retiree from Connecticut, worked at the school for about two-and-a-half years and was at the school twice a day helping students and cars come and go.
“Frank was a big man with a big smile with a big heard and he made an impression everywhere he went,” said school principal Dr. Boen Nutting. “I would have parents roll down the windows and say 'Do you realize what a gem you have in your safety officer?'”
Investigators say 23-year-old Sarah McMinn was driving through the school zone but didn’t see Booth when she hit him shortly after 3 p.m. Booth died a short time later at the hospital.
McMinn has not been charged. Investigators say she was not speeding and was not impaired. The district attorney’s office received the case for review Thursday afternoon.
Booth waved Amanda Brown through traffic on Highway 115 in front of the school just seconds before he was hit. Brown says it is an accident, but she isn’t buying McMinn’s explanation.
“He was wearing an orange vest, an orange hat, was waving an orange baton and had orange cones out. The only way to not see him is to not be looking,” Brown said. “He was a nice man and he’s somebody just doing his job.”
Neighbors near the school told NBC Charlotte that the school zone signs need to be moved closer to the school, and the area should have flashing lights and more signs.
“I don’t think it’s adequate,” said neighbor Cathy Bailey. “Very heavy traffic and not what it was 10 years ago.”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says engineers will look at the school zone area to see if anything needs to change. That could take up to 60 days.
Students and staff honored Booth with a flashlight memorial Thursday morning. The message was to shine a light on the world and make a difference like Booth did, plus encourage healing after their loss.