School crossing guard struck and killed by Uber driver - CBS46 News

School crossing guard struck and killed by Uber driver

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

A Cobb County school crossing guard was struck and killed by a vehicle while helping children get to school Thursday morning.

Edna Umeh, 64, woman was struck at about 9 a.m. in front of Lindley Middle School on Veterans Memorial Highway in Mableton.

Police say the driver of a red Ford Focus was speeding in the center turn lane when he hit the crossing guard. Witnesses say it appeared he had gotten into the center lane to try to bypass traffic congestion in the school zone.

"I wish I didn't see it, but I did," said Sakinah Anderson, a witness. "Everyone is stopping but he is still going, and he swerves into the center lane.. The lady is like, 'Stop! Stop!' One crossing guard went one way. She went the other way. Once she noticed that he wasn't stopping, she tried to turn around a little bit, and he hit her."

The impact injured the driver, identified as Lamonte Whitaker, 38, of Lithonia. First responders had to cut the top off of the Ford Focus to remove him from the car.

School principal Dana Giles released this statement regarding the death:

"Dear Lindley Middle School Families,

It is with deep sorrow that I inform you that a crossing guard directing traffic at Lindley Middle school was struck by a vehicle and killed this morning as students were arriving at school.

I want to assure you that no students were involved or injured. Understandably, students and staff are shaken by what happened, whether they witnessed it or have since heard about it. Our counselors, joined by counselors from neighboring schools and specialists from the Cobb County School District Prevention/Intervention team, are providing support to students and staff.

The Cobb County Police Department STEP Unit is investigating.

We will share additional information if/when it becomes available.

As always, the safety and support of our students is of paramount importance and we will take any and all steps necessary to provide both."

The car had an Uber sticker on the windshield, indicating that its owner is a driver for the ride-sharing service.

Uber released the following statement:

"This is a horrible tragedy and deeply upsetting. Our hearts go out to the victim's family and the Lindley Middle School community during this difficult time."

A spokesperson for Uber said it does not appear the driver was on the clock at the time of the accident.

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