Sugar Mill Elementary parents call for safety improvements after student hit, killed in crosswalk

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — Sugar Mill Elementary School parents are pushing for more crossing guards, speed bumps, and signs after a student was hit and killed in a crosswalk Friday morning.


Meanwhile, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the driver responsible was speeding.

Chitwood described surveillance video that faces the school’s parking lot, saying it showed the driver not following the posted 5 mph zone, dropping a student off before they were supposed to, and not coming to a complete stop at the stop sign.

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“This young girl lost her life because somebody couldn’t follow the rules,” Chitwood said.

The ongoing pedestrian safety concerns around the school prompted parent Rae Hill to start a petition.

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“There has been numerous occasions where parents and teachers and staff and residents of the area have made complaints and made written complaints,” Hill said.

Crossing guards are hired and trained by the sheriff’s office, but where they are stationed is up to a safety committee. Chitwood said the committee does a series of studies before making the decision, and while he’s all for enhanced safety, he said it takes more than law enforcement to be successful.

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Chitwood added that finding guards has been a struggle.

“Even if they recommend a guard, I don’t know that I will be able to hire one,” Chitwood said. “I am 19 down now, and I don’t know what the summer is going to bring,”

Eyewitness News asked Port Orange Police if the driver would face charges, and we were told there were no updates in the case at this time.

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